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56 per cent of teenage girls suffer from iron deficiency

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According to the National Family Health Survey (2005-06), 56 per cent of adolescent girls and 30 per cent of adolescent boys –between the ages of 15 to 19 – suffer from anaemia, caused by iron deficiency. That is one out of two girls and one out of three boys. The impact is huge given India has the largest number of adolescents in the world, 253 million.

Taking note of the high prevalence of anaemia in the country, the central health ministry on Wednesday, brought attention to its Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) Programme, giving it a shot of glamour by bringing on board actor and UN Goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra. Though the programme has been ongoing since 2012, this awareness campaign by the ministry and UNICEF has been launched to counter recent data on the alarming rates of anemia and malnutrition in India.According to the National Family Health Survey (2005-06), 56 per cent of adolescent girls and 30 per cent of adolescent boys –between the ages of 15 to 19 – suffer from anaemia, caused by iron deficiency. That is one out of two girls and one out of three boys. The impact is huge given India has the largest number of adolescents in the world, 253 million.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> At the recently launched India Health Report: Nutrition 2015, which threw up worrying numbers of adolescent health, health minister JP Nadda stressed on the importance of the iron supplement programme, and on stepping up efforts to make adolescent girls – a group high at risk – healthier, especially under their Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram scheme, that targets health and development in adolescents. This emphasis, on India’s public health programme, he repeated on Wednesday, calling it one of the world’s largest public health programmes. Listing the The WIFS as one of their achievements this year, the ministry describes the programme as one that entails provision of weekly supervised IFA tablets to in-school boys and girls and out-of-school girls for prevention of iron and folic acid deficiency anaemia, and biannual albendazole tablets for helminth control. The programme is being implemented across the country in both rural and urban areas, covering government, government aided schools, municipal schools and Anganwadi centres.Iit is implemented with the help of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, a key stakeholder in the programme, and the ministry of human Resource Development. The programme aims to cover a total of 11.2 crore beneficiaries including 8.4 crore in-school and 2.8 crore out-of-school beneficiaries. However, according to its own data the average coverage for in-school beneficiaries in about 2.1 crore, out of school is 3.2 crore and total is 2.4 crore, making it a long way to go.

Juvenile Justice Bill shouldn’t be passed, says Ram Jethmalani

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“I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.

Former law minister Ram Jethmalani

File Photo
Former law minister Ram Jethmalani, on Tuesday, said that there is no need to amend the Juvenile Justice Bill, adding that it was totally ‘unnecessary’ to change it just because of one incident.”I don’t know if it will be passed, but according to me it shouldn’t be passed,” Jaithmalani told reporters.”The Juvenile Justice Bill is completely fine and there is no need to amend it just because of one incident. It is totally unnecessary,” he added.The BJP had earlier assured disappointed Nirbhaya’s parents that the Juvenile Justice Bill would be passed in the Parliament, on Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said the Bill should be passed in the Parliament without any further delay after having a healthy discussion.The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on also stuck to their guns in opposing the Juvenile Justice Bill, saying ‘lowering the age of juveniles is not in the interest of justice’.With the Supreme Court is showing its inability to prohibit the release of the juvenile in the Nirbhaya gangrape case in the absence of laws, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said, on Monday, the ruling dispensation at the Centre is keen to pass the Juvenile Justice Bill and was also ready to bring supplementary agenda on it in the Parliament.The apex court had dismissed the petition of Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal appeals to MPs to pass Juvenile Amendment Bill

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The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal
File Photo
PTI
After the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the plea by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, DCW chief Swati Maliwal urged the Rajya Sabha MPs to unitedly pass the juvenile law.”Yesterday, I had met Hamid Ansari ji and he had assured me that he will produce it. I am very happy that tomorrow it will be produced. I appeal to all the MPs to unite to pass this bill, otherwise it will be a tight slap to all the Nirbhaya’s of the nation,” Maliwal told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I just got to know that within a minute, three laws were passed in the Rajya Sabha. I want to know why this Juvenile Justice Act Amendment bill was not passed in the last three years and how much more time will the Rajya Sabha take to pass this bill? How many more Nirbhaya’s will be created in this nation, after which the Rajya Sabha will pass the bill?” she added.The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard.Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice. Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital on Sunday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

Nirbhaya case | Juveniles given certificate to rape: Victim’s mother on SC verdict

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Nirbhaya’s mother also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.

PTI
Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision to reject the petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice.”I knew that the petition would be dismissed as the Supreme Court had dismissed my petition in 2014 also. By releasing the juvenile convict, all the courts have given encouragement to this heinous crime and have given certificate to all the juveniles that there is no provision in the law which can punish them and therefore they can commit any crime such as rape etc,” Nirbhaya’s mother said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The courts are actually concerned about the convicts and not the victims. The women of this country have always been betrayed and this has happened once again also. Nobody is concerned about women safety and there would never be any change in the Indian laws and women will never get justice,” she added.She also insisted that she would not be demoralised by this decision but would continue her fight to make change in the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years.The parents of the victim protested in the national capital yesterday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free.Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

Nirbhaya Case: Centre says Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is ‘high priority’

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‘On behalf of the Central Government, we were specifically asked as to what our stand is. Keeping in mind the interest of the society and the issue of juvenile himself, we submitted that we are in favour of purposive interpretation of the law in such a fashion that it could be adopted to ensure that the society is not endangered also to assure the safety of the juvenile,’ she added.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who appeared for the Centre in the hearing of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) plea, on Monday said that Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is a high priority item for the ruling dispensation at the Centre. ‘The arguments put by the petitioner, DCW, were that the law should be interpreted in a fashion which should be in favour of society to say this that until the reform process is completed, till then the juvenile should not walk free in society because it is a danger to society as well as a danger to the juvenile himself,’ Anand told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>’On behalf of the Central Government, we were specifically asked as to what our stand is. Keeping in mind the interest of the society and the issue of juvenile himself, we submitted that we are in favour of purposive interpretation of the law in such a fashion that it could be adopted to ensure that the society is not endangered also to assure the safety of the juvenile,’ she added.Anand further asserted that on behalf of the Central Government they urged that the Juvenile Justice Amendment Law is before the Rajya Sabha and the attempt was to go through it as quickly as possible. It is a high priority item for the government. It is extremely important that this act should go through as quickly as possible.The apex court earlier on Monday dismissed the petition of DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang rape case, saying ‘there has to be a clear legislative sanction’ in this regard. Disappointed with Supreme Court’s decision, Nirbhaya’s parents on Monday said that the women of this country will never get justice.Rejecting the DCW’s petition, the apex court earlier said that under existing law detention cannot go beyond three years. The parents of the victim protested in the national capital yesterday. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother had said that she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free. Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

Nirbhaya case: Why acting so late to stop juvenile’s release, victims’s parents ask

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The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late Saturday night to stay the convict’s release.

Victim’s parents

PTI
Questioning the role of the Centre and Delhi government, the parents of December 16 gangrape victim on Sunday asked why they did not take action earlier to stop the imminent release of the juvenile convict. Opposing the release of the juvenile, the victim’s mother said, “Our fight is just on the issue that he (juvenile convict) must not come out. If he will come out then what is the point of hearing (by Supreme Court) or any other thing.” “All knew that he will be released so steps should have been taken during these three years,” she said adding, “I want justice and stay on his release.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late last night to stay his release. In their order pronounced at 2 AM, a vacation bench refused to stay his release, scheduled for today, by giving an urgent hearing and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow. The victim’s father too expressed unhappiness with the Centre and Delhi government for showing “helplessness” on the issue of release of the juvenile “What hearing? But what can we do? Whatever the court is doing is right. Our government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care. However, if proper hearing or verdict would have passed on this case, then we would not have seen this day,” he said. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had filed a plea in the High Court against the juvenile’s release, pointed to the “provisions” which have to be applied before the juvenile convict is formally released. “According to rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, he can can be left out from the custody of the Juvenile Justice Board but he cannot be released as free person till management committee appointed for the purpose decides whether he is mentally sound, whether he has socially mainstreamed and that he has reformed.”

WCD Ministry to formulate guidelines to check harassment of women on matrimonial sites

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The guidelines will be notified under IT Act, the existing rules of which govern only cyber cafes.

WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi

Guidelines to check harassment of women on matrimonial websites will soon be formulated by the Women and Child Development Ministry which will include measures like setting up a dedicated helpline by the site owners for redress of complaints and filing periodical returns.The ministry has set up an inter-ministerial panel to frame the guidelines. It has officials from department of Information Technology, Home Affairs and Women and Child Development Ministry, and three representatives from matrimonial websites as members who will come up with list of directions to mitigate and eliminate fraud in the digital space concerning marriage portals.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ministry also held a meeting on November 17 with online service providers of the matrimonial sites to find out possible ways for better regulations. A senior WCD Ministry official said there has been an increase in the number of complaints about fraud on matrimonial websites.”The complaints are received by our grievance cell and it was observed that such cases have increased in the past few years,” he said, recalling one such case where a woman, who had recently cleared the IAS exam, complained about a user for trying to “tarnish” her image by posting that she is HIV positive.The official said the website managers have also expressed concern over the “serious frauds” happening on these portals targeting women. “The websites have been very responsive. They have also been getting complaints and are concerned about it. Because if there are too many complaints on a particular site, it will also affect their business,” he said.The guidelines will be notified under IT Act, the existing rules of which govern only cyber cafes.”The idea was to develop a mechanism of accountability on these sites. When a person registers on these sites, they do not provide any ID proof. So, he or she is free to commit frauds. We have suggested that they (websites) should take some kind of ID proof, like Aadhaar card, voter card or driving license so that the user can be held accountable if he does something wrong,” the official said.”Secondly they have been asked to set up a helpline for redressal of complaints. They have also been suggested to file periodical returns in which they give details about grievance redressal,” the official said.

Nirbhaya case: AAP, DCW playing shameful politics on juvenile’s release, says Congress

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Expressing grief over the release of the juvenile, Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said that it is really sad that the main accused will be released just because of his age.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit

Condemning the release of the juvenile involved in the December 16 gang rape case, the Congress on Sunday alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) is doing shameful politics over the issue. “The DCW and Delhi government is doing politics in this matter. If they had a stand against the release they would have done it long back. It is very shameful that the Chief Minister and DCW chief is doing politics over this,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI in Delhi. Expressing grief over the release of the juvenile, Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said that it is really sad that the main accused will be released just because of his age.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Nirbhaya case: Everyone in India is against release of the convict, says DCW Chief Swati Maliwal She also said that despite Arvind Kejriwal making many public statements on lowering the age of juvenile to 15, when discussed in the House they (AAP) opposed it. “One thing I would like to point out which probably many people doesn”t know Kejriwal ji is continuously saying that juvenile age should be lowered to 15, he has made many public statement, but when this issue was discussed in house their MPs opposed it. So it really shows the hypocrisy of the AAP government. DCW stand was late, even if the law is amended unfortunately this boy is released now,” she added. The Supreme Court has decided to hear the plea of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile in the December 16 gang rape case on Monday, ruling out that there will be no stay on his release. DCW chief Swati Maliwal reached the Supreme Court last night after DCW decided to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the apex court to stall the release of the convict. “I strongly feel that the Supreme Court has seen merit and that is why the Supreme Court was open at 2 o” clock in the night. This petition of Delhi Commission of Women against release of the juvenile and rapist in Nirbhaya”s case has been accepted, and it has been listed as item number three on Monday. I am hopeful because the kind of matter we have, the Supreme Court will take cognizance and will rule in our favour,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal told ANI.The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life. He is scheduled to be released today. Earlier, the parents of the gang rape victim, along students and activists were detained by the police as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict. The police action was condemned by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In December 2012, the teenager was part of the six member gang that lured a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend onto a bus, where the girl was gruesomely raped and her companion brutally beaten. The girl subsequently succumbed to her injuries 13 days later in Singapore. The incident caused nationwide outrage and led to widespread outpouring of anger against the rapists, including the teenager.

December 16 gangrape case: Juvenile convict moved to undisclosed location ahead of his release tomorrow

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Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, High court on Friday had said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way.

The juvenile convict in Nirbhaya rape case is set to be released tomorrow.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape case was shifted from remand home to an undisclosed location on Saturday. The juvenile is scheduled to be released on Sunday as he has completed his 3 years jail term. The convict, who is now 20 years old, has been sent to an undisclosed location amid concerns that there was threat to his life, and several agencies are keeping an eye on the matter, said a highly-placed source.Brushing aside the public outcry against his release, Delhi High court on Friday had said BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking stay on the release of juvenile convict cannot be allowed as the statutory and existing law was coming in its way. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Saturday, the victim’s parents with several other activists was seen protesting outside the remand home. “Having regard to the fact that the maximum stay that can be directed in the Special Home under Section 15(1) of the Act is three years and that the respondent No.1 (convict) would be completing the period of three years by December 20, 2015, there cannot be any direction to continue his stay in the Special Home beyond December 20, 2015. Hence, we decline to issue any direction as prayed by the petitioner,” a bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said.”Crime has won and we have lost (jurm jeet gaya, hum haar gaye). Although we haven’t seen him, nor met him, but despite all our efforts, a criminal will walk free,” said a dejected Asha Devi, mother of the victim on Friday.The mother, who waited for the order alongwith her husband Badri Singh Pandey, in the court, said, “Despite all our efforts for three years, our government and our courts have released a criminal.”The assurance we were given was that we will get justice but that has not been delivered. We are very disappointed,” she had said about the order of the Bench which also directed the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) to interact with the convict, his parents and concerned officials of Department of Women and Child Development regarding his “rehabilitation and social mainstreaming”.Delhi government has said it had submitted a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile convict in December 16 gangrape case.The government said that as per the plan, a one-time financial grant of Rs 10,000 will be given to the youth and a sewing machine will be arranged for him so that he can rent a tailor shop.The convict, who is now 21, is to release on December 20 after his three years stay in the observation home as part of the sentence for the offence of rape.

My daughter’s name was Jyoti Singh, declares Nirbhaya’s mother

“We stand for child rights, but it is our right to know whether he has reformed or not,”said Dr Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, CSR, to dna. She added, “we are against capital punishment and their should be a debate on it. However, one has to go by the law of the land, and according to that, we want the highest punishment for all accused.”

Nirbhaya’s parents Badrinath Singh and Asha Devi

PTI
At a highly charged remembrance meeting for ‘Nirbhaya’ on the third anniversary of the December 16 gangrape, the mother of the victim asked that justice be done for her daughter, and that all accused, including the former juvenile be hanged. Asha Devi also publicly declared Nirbhaya’s name –Jyoti Singh –saying she was “not ashamed to name her”.Organised by a group of citizens calling themselves Justice Seekers, with the involvement of gender rights group Centre for Social Research (CSR), the demonstration brought together many public and political figures to commemorate Jyoti. In a palpably angry atmosphere, most of these big names repeated that justice had not been done, not to Nirbhaya nor to other women attacked and assaulted. The feeling seemed exacerbated by the fact the juvenile accused, now a 21 year old man is set to walk free after three years in a juvenile home.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We stand for child rights, but it is our right to know whether he has reformed or not,”said Dr Ranjana Kumari, activist and Director, CSR, to dna. She added, “we are against capital punishment and their should be a debate on it. However, one has to go by the law of the land, and according to that, we want the highest punishment for all accused.”Former police officer Kiran Bedi, Congresswomen Kiran Walia and Sharmishta Mukherjee, Delhi Commission for Women Swati Maliwal, among others spoke out against the rates of crimes against women and the fact that nothing seemed to have changed in Delhi all these years. Mukherjee called for gender sensitisation at all levels, at home, in schools and offices, Walia pushed for closer monitoring of trials so that delays can be countered.Maliwal brought up cases of minor girls being gangraped as examples of the increasing crime rates, and her own investigations into delhi police data –only 9 accused were convicted in sexual assault cases in 2014 out of 11000 FIRs registered, and in Delhi’s only forensic lab, 1500 samples had gone bad potentially damaging many cases that could be on crimes against women.However, Maliwal was interrupted in her speech by Kumari; it seemed the latter, and other organisers, feared that Maliwal was being too confrontational against other parties.Jyoti’s mother too asked that rape not be politicised, instead her demands be met. All accused be hanged, all cases of sexual assault be fast tracked from the apex court to the lower court and the Nirbhaya fund be used to build more forensic laboratories in Delhi and other states. Kumari added another demand, that Jyoti’s parents be given protection. In the ongoing Parliament session, in Lok sabha, BJP Member of Parliament Hema Malini pronounced her sentence on the juvenile, saying his mind was “devilish”. She asked that he be treated as an adult for his crime as, according to her, he did more harm to Nirbhaya. This fact, though previously reported in the media, has been disputed by women’s groups and child rights’ activists based on the Juvenile Justice Boards’ observations.

Maneka Gandhi puts onus on Rajya Sabha, asks it to clear Bill on Nirbhaya

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.

Putting the onus on the Rajya Sabha to clear the bill on mandatory registration of offenders, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said it is important to bring a juvenile within the ambit of law.”I wish the Rajya Sabha would allow me to pass this Act, at least it would give relief. They should be kept under watch. At the moment, you are not even allowing me to pass a bill. We are all stuck,” Gandhi told the media here.”We have seen for the last two years and the act is stuck in the Rajya Sabha, saying that nowadays it is important to bring 16- year old also within the ambit of law, and to give them the belief that if they commit heinous crimes, they will be taken to task,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She further pointed out that she would be meeting the Home Minister this evening to say that some safeguards should be put into place.Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy said that he was hopeful about the courts handing down an order to prevent the release of the juvenile involved in the December 2012 gang rape case in outer Delhi.The victim’s father also said that the juvenile convict must not be freed as he might be a ‘threat to society’.”It is not about being a juvenile or an adult, but about crime. The crime he has committed and after he is released it will definitely affect the youth in the country. He is a threat to the society. I believe that he should not be released anyhow. The person who can sit inside jail and learn to be a jihadi, what will he do outside,” asked the victim’s father.Earlier in the day, the Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments with the Congress Party insisting on the dismissal of the SAD-led government in Punjab for its inability in maintaining law and order.

December 16 gangrape: Maneka Gandhi to talk to Home Ministry on juvenile’s release

Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted

Maneka Gandhi

Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Monday said she will speak to the Home Minister over the release of the juvenile convicted in December 16 gang-rape case following reports that he may be put up with an NGO once set free later this month.”We have no information about it. We will speak to the Home Minister tomorrow (about) what they intend to do,” she said after releasing a Handbook on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace. She said the ministry had requested the Law Ministry for enactment of a law to monitor sex offenders but has not yet received any reply.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi, in a letter written to Law Minister Sadananda Gowda, had requested that police should keep a track of the movements of such convicts post-release for which a law should be enacted. In cases where the accused are convicted for committing heinous crimes, the orders of the court may also include mandatory requirement of registration of the accused in local police station so that police can monitor their activities and keep track of their movements, Gandhi had said.

How mainstream media promotes gender-based violence (and how feminists are fighting it)

Japleen Parischa, the founder of Feminism in India, talks about countering the mainstream media narrative.

Feminism in India campaign poster

Unless you develop a feminist consciousness, you will never really realise just how casually sexist and misogynist the world is. And nowhere is this more apparent than the media— whether it’s mainstream media, movies, songs or even advertisements. Every year from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) to December 10 (Human Rights Day), institutions and groups across the world participate in activism against gender-based violence. To commemorate and participate in the 16-day global campaign, Feminism in India is running a campaign called #GBVInMedia, which analyses mainstream media’s reporting and representation of #GBV.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>dna talked to Japleen Parischa, the founder of Feminism in India. (FII). FII is a year old organisation, which won the Manthan Award 2015 for ICT social innovations under the E-women and empowerment category. Parischa was also nominated for the Femina Women Awards 2015 under the Online Influencer Category.Excerpts from the interview:You could say that mainstream media (MSM) has really taken to covering incidents of gender violence with gusto, particularly since the ‘Nirbhaya’ incident. Has the increased coverage helped victims or potential victims? In what ways does MSM goof up when covering stories about gender violence? How does the sensationalism hurt the cause? How can newsrooms improve when covering gender-based violenceYes, after the 2012 gang rape case, gender as a subject has gained immense limelight in the media. This has both positive and negative effects as any other thing would have. Women’s issues and rights have been taken seriously as well as made a joke and claimed to be just ‘false cases’ for attention. Goof-ups by the media have been many: publishing the image of Badaun girls, slipping the Tehelka rape case survivor’s name, asking for Shakti Mills rape case’s survivor’s name, minutes after the incident occurred, glamorising and then defaming Rohtak sisters, the recent MRA (Mens’ Rights Activists) kind of posts by Indiatimes and the Mancriminate campaign by Maggcom.This misinformation especially in the case of ‘false cases’ silences women who are affected by this misinformation that they heard from someone or read somewhere and begin to have fears and doubts about telling their story or seeking legal justice. This is in turn affecting the reporting rates of sexual violence wherein women are forced to factor in possible social implications of their decision to report and the long battle that lies ahead for them.There is a pressing need for newsrooms to check the rampant homophobia and the prevalence of excessive descriptions of violence in news reports. Good editorial practices can nip these unethical acts in the bud. Some news organisations are conscientious enough but many more need to reflect and develop policies that can positively change the way these issues are reported.Gender in itself is a complex issue to understand and report about, gender-based violence is more so. It is a need of the hour that journalists reporting on gender and gender-based violence be trained and sensitised. Better policies should be adopted and enforced in news organisations. The onus lies on the editors and the journalists to take responsibility of the news coverage from a neutral and a gender sensitive lens.Online harassment has become a pandemic and isn’t just exclusive in India. Even John Oliver had a segment dealing with the issue on the Last Week Tonight. How does one deal with online harassment? Frankly, block/ignore doesn’t seem like a fair option. What can social media sites do to improve dealing with such cases?I’d like to quote Jac SM Kee, Manager of Women’s rights Program at APC, here for the first part of the questions. “Don’t be afraid of technology, get to know it; delve into and thoroughly understand the technology you are using, the data you are sharing and privacy settings. Insist on your presence and occupy online spaces. Facing an online attack can be exhausting and sometimes frightening. Reaching out to your allies and friends for support is an important strategy, both for solidarity as well as to strengthen your shared actions.” Responding with feminist narratives and content as well as not engaging with trolls whose main intentions are to drag you into pointless conversations is also recommended. Social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter should review their community guidelines and accept diversity. Not all abuse happens in English. Recently, Facebook refused to take down a page on child sexual abuse because it was in Malayalam and did not violate their ‘community guidelines’. They should also understand the local context of each country, which is mostly the reason of patriarchal culture.Shaming your harasser publicly is also another good technique and has resulted in positive actions, but make sure you have a good support system online if the harasser decides to attack again even after being shamed.Over the years, the trope might have changed from outright rape scenes to stalking to casual sexism, but there’s no denying the misogyny that continues to exist in modern day cinema, in all languages. The handful of movies in which women play an important role can be counted on your fingers. How do you counter that? How can the film industry evolve?It is difficult to counter popular media as opposed to news media, where reach is not a problem, thanks to social media. However, writing critical reviews, tagging actors, directors etc on Twitter, boycotting the movie, organising film screenings of alternative docus and movies and later discussing why that particular commercial movie was wrong on so many levels can make some impact. If we have to counter pop culture media, we have to make digital media our best friend.Secondly, it’s not the commercial or art house status of the film that defines how rape as a subject will be treated by filmmakers. For a movie to qualify as truly revolutionary in terms of how it shows GBV, there are certain sensitive issues which need to be touched upon. The very basic question that haunts us all is— where is the healing process? Why don’t these movies ever talk about the inner struggle of the woman, which by the way should move beyond societal ideas of respectability, honour, etc.Not just that, the journey of a rape survivor and her voice needs to come out well as opposed to a movie maker’s imagination. After all, if you are choosing a sensitive subject like rape and sexual assault, it would not do filmmakers much harm if they were to at least make sure that they produce content that does not objectify the woman. And most important of all, there should be enough clarity about how and why language matters. Whether a woman chooses to call herself a victim or a survivor should be up to her and her alone.In the last few years, there’s a definite effort from filmmakers to jump on the feminism bandwagon. We had Sanjay Gupta’s Jazbaa, NH 10, and movies like Queen or Tanu Weds Manu. Are these helping the situation?Yes, these are definitely somewhat helping the situation. But when popular actresses misuse the word feminism or say they don’t believe in feminism because it is man-hating, it brings us two steps down. Also, movies like Mardaani which is supposed to show an empowered woman but has a very patriarchal name doesn’t also help.The advertising industry is famous for playing to the audience, and despite the increase in spending power in women, is still hell-bent on selling products to men which will make them feel better about themselves. How does one combat this?I think Havells is doing a great job in breaking stereotypes and being feminist correctly unlike Airtel’s Boss advert. Other adverts can maybe learn a thing or two from Havell. And no, the answer to stopping objectification of women in adverts is not reverse-objectification. Finally, how has the campaign gone so far? How has the response been so far?The campaign has been great. We have received more than 16 submissions and covered a great deal of kinds of media from the news, newsrooms, click-bait media to social, digital, adverts, cinema, music, Indian comedy, books, etc. The campaign is also intersectional and talked about news media reportage of violence against women with disabilities, violence against LGBTQ people and caste-based violence. In the end of the campaign, we will publish a set of recommendations that the news media could implement to better report GBV. You can read more about the campaign here.

Induction of women into IAF combat role on an experimental basis: Govt

Upon successful completion of Stage-II training, these women trainees are likely to be commissioned into the fighter stream in June, 2016, he said.

The government on Friday said the approval for induction of women into the fighter stream of Indian Air force is on an “experimental basis” for a period of five years. In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh said all women pilots in IAF are cleared for all operational roles including low level tactical flying, para drop, air maintenance (northern & eastern sector) and special heli-borne operation (SHBO). Women pilots undergo jungle and snow survival course, he added.”Government has accorded the approval to entry of women into the fighter stream of IAF on experimental basis for a period of five years,” he said. The minister said that it is envisaged that the women trainees undergoing Stage-I training at Air Force Academy would be assessed for their suitability. Based on the suitability and willingness, these women trainees would be selected for Stage-II training in the fighter stream.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upon successful completion of Stage-II training, these women trainees are likely to be commissioned into the fighter stream in June, 2016, he said. The induction of women as fighter pilots in Indian Air Force was cleared on October 24 by the government in a landmark move for the armed forces which had so far dithered over combat role for women. Meanwhile, in another reply, Singh said that the Army has 1,466 women officers in its ranks followed by 418 in the Navy and 1,428 in the Air Force.Replying to a different question, he said 460 women have been inducted into the Army since 2012, 171 in the Navy and 497 in the Air Force.

Cases of online harassment against women not maintained by govt: Maneka Gandhi

The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.

Representational image

dna Research & Archives
The cases of online harassment against women are not maintained by the government, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Gandhi, however, said as per the data of National Crime Records Bureau on cyber crimes, 589, 1203 and 758 cases of publication/transmission of obscene, sexually explicit content (Under section 67 A, 67 B and 67 C of the Information Technology Act) have been registered during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After consultation on cyber crimes in India held on July 23, National Commission for Women has submitted a report which inter-alia recommended for opening of more cyber cells, dedicated helpline numbers, setting up forensic labs and technical training law enforcement agencies like police and judiciary to combat cyber crime,” she said.The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.”It provides punishment in the form of imprisonment ranging from two years to life imprisonment and fine/penalty depending on the type of cyber crime,” she said.

NCW serves notice on Sunni leader Aboobacker Musliar for ‘anti-women’ remarks

Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women have no mental strength and the power to control the universe, “which lies in the hands of men”.

Sunni leader Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliar
File Photo
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has served a notice on Sunni leader Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliar for his controversial remarks on women, Chief Lalitha Kumaramanglam said on Wednesday. At an event in Kerala last week, Musliar had described as “un-Islamic” the concept of gender equality and said that women could never equal men as “they are fit only to deliver children”. “Suo motu notice has been served on the man and a copy of it was sent to the organisers (of the event) also. We have given them one working week’s time to reply,” Kumaramanglam said. It is very unfortunate that such senior people are giving anti-women remarks, she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a very ill-educated statement. He does not know what reality is and it’s unfortunate that such a senior person in such a senior position of influence has this very backward anti-women opinion. We have started writing to the state governments saying that they should also be more proactive in discouraging such statements,” she said, at the conclusion of a national consultation on ‘Expanding Opportunities for Women with Disabilities’.Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women have no mental strength and the power to control the universe, “which lies in the hands of men”.”Gender equality is something which is never going to be a reality. It is against Islam, humanity and was intellectually wrong,” he said while speaking at a camp of Muslim Students Federation (MSF) in Kozhikode.Also read: Sunni leader says ‘women only fit to deliver children’; calls gender equality ‘un-Islamic’Following outrage over his remarks, Musliar claimed that his statement has been “deliberately distorted and misinterpreted”.”Islam stands for the safety of women in a milieu of extreme feminism and misogyny. A fair approach is one that empowers them through education and social upliftment and in this sense we are implementing systematic and wide establishments under Markaz and Sunni organisations,” he later said in a release.

Malayalam director Ali Akbar hits out at Muslim cleric, claims he was abused as a child

On Saturday, Kanthapuram had rejected Rajeena’s claims that there were instances of child abuse in madrasas and asked for evidence.

Kanthapuram

Malayalam director Ali Akbar has backed up journalist VP Rajeena’s claims about child sex abuse in madrasas and claimed that he had been abused as a kid. Challenging Muslim cleric Kanthapuram Abu Backer Musliyar, Akbar said that the ‘ustaad’ who abused him was still alive and he would be willing to reveal details if Kanthapuram wanted. On Saturday, Kanthapuram had rejected Rajeena’s claims that there were instances of child abuse in madrasas and asked for evidence.Akbar was quoted by saying India Today: “if he’s ready to accept my challenge I am ready to reveal the details. Why should I be scared of telling the truth? It is true that I am a victim of abuse at a madarsa.” Kanthapuram had also said that gender inequality was un-Islamic and women didn’t possess the mental strength that men did. “How many female heart surgeons do you see in the world? They do not have the mental strength. Men do. Women will shiver before the controlling power of a man. Women have other capabilities that men don’t. They are meant for that only,” said Kanthapuram was quoted saying.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related read: (Kerala journalist attacked over her Facebook post on child sexual abuse in madrasas)

Gender equality ‘un-Islamic’, women fit only to deliver children, says Kerala Sunni leader

“Women can never equal men. They are fit only to deliver children. Women cannot withstand crisis situations,” he said.

Kerala Sunni leader Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musalyar

PTI
Kerala Sunni leader Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musalyar has controversially described the concept of gender equality as being “un-Islamic” and said that women could never equal men as “they are fit only to deliver children”.Musalyar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said on Saturday that women do not have mental strength and do not possess the power to control the universe, “which lies in the hands of men.”“Gender equality is something which is never going to be a reality. It is against Islam, humanity and was intellectually wrong,” he said while speaking at a camp of Muslim Students Federation (MSF) in Kozhikode.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Kerala journalist attacked over her Facebook post on child sexual abuse in madrasas“Women can never equal men. They are fit only to deliver children. Women cannot withstand crisis situations,” he said. He wondered if there was even a single woman among thousands of cardiac surgeons. The 76-year-old Islamic scholar’s remarks against reservation for women in elections had set off another controversy recently. He had said 50% reservation of seats for women in civic polls was “too high” but retracted the statement later when it became controversial.Referring to the ongoing debates over allowing girls and boys to share seats in colleges, Musalyar said it was “part of a calculated move to destroy Islam and culture.” He also dismissed recent allegations regarding sexual exploitations at madrasas and asked those who raised allegations to bring evidence to prove it.A controversy had erupted recently after a woman journalist wrote an account on her Facebook wall about the alleged sexual abuse of young boys and girls in madrasas.

Kerala: Sunni leader says ‘women only fit to deliver children’; calls gender equality ‘un-Islamic’

Sunni leader Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women have no mental strength and the power to control the universe, “which lies in the hands of men.”

A P Aboobacker
File Photo
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia
In a controversial remark, Sunni leader Kanthapuram A P Aboobacker Musliar on Saturday described as “un-Islamic” the concept of gender equality and said that women could never equal men as “they are fit only to deliver children”.Musliar, the chief of All India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, said women have no mental strength and the power to control the universe, “which lies in the hands of men.””Gender equality is something which is never going to be a reality. It is against Islam, humanity and was intellectually wrong,” he said while speaking at a camp of Muslim Students Federation (MSF) in Kozhikode.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Women can never equal men. They are fit only to deliver children. Women cannot withstand crisis situations,” he said. He wondered if there was even a single woman among thousands of cardiac surgeons.The 76-year-old Islamic scholar’s remarks against reservation for women in elections had set off another controversy recently. He had said 50% reservation of seats for women in civic polls was “too high” but retracted the statement later when it became controversial.Referring to the ongoing debates over allowing girls and boys to share seats in colleges, Musliar said it was “part of a calculated move to destroy Islam and culture.” He also rubbished recent allegations regarding sexual exploitations at Madrasas and asked those who raised allegations to bring evidence to prove it.A controversy had erupted recently after a woman journalist wrote an account on her Facebook wall about the alleged sexual abuse of young boys and girls in Madrasas. Related read: Kerala journalist attacked over her Facebook post on child sexual abuse in madrasas

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu proposes online program for tracing missing kids

Seeking support of the people, Prabhu said that it is also the responsibility of the society to ensure that the children do not get lost or run away from their homes.
File Photo
PTI
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday proposed setting up of an online registration program in collaboration with the Women and Child Development Ministry to help parents trace their missing or runaway children rescued at railway stations.”I suggest that we launch an online registration program under which pictures of children rescused from railway stations would be uploaded so that their parents can easily get to know about them and these children get united with their family at the earliest,” said Prabhu here as he along with the WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi released Railway Posters for Child Protection and inaugurated a booth where a lost child can seek help at the Platform No 1 of New Delhi Railway station.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said that the Government Railway Police ( GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel will be trained to deal with such rescued children.Seeking support of the people, Prabhu said that it is also the responsibility of the society to ensure that the children do not get lost or run away from their homes. On her part, Gandhi said that a large number of children get kidnapped or run away from home, most of who take trains to end up in big cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi and get introduced to alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other bad habits.”These posters which have been released today will be put up in railway stations and boggies. They have the childline number 1098 printed on them and anybody who finds a child alone, scared or in an uncomfortable situation with adults, they can report it on this number,” she said.Gandhi said that these posters and kiosks have been set up at 20 stations and the government aims to set it up in 200 more stations and over the time in 12,000 staions across the country.

Yes, we bleed! say women taking on menstrual taboos in the country

Today, some women have taken on this taboo, and those propagating it in the country, on social media.

Menstrual taboos continue to exist in India despite the efforts of many activists and campaigns to dispel the myths around a natural feminine physical phenomenon. Talking about periods or menstruation still is taboo for many people and there are many don’ts associated with it. Women are not allowed to enter the kitchen, visit places of worship and even touch food items like pickles while they are on their periods. They are considered ‘impure’ during their menstruation and hence the rules. Today, some women have taken on this taboo, and those propagating it in the country, on social media. Nikita Azad, a 20-year-old girl has taken on the keepers of the Sabarimala Temple after a decision was taken by them to scan women to see if it was the ‘right time’ for them to enter the temple. Author Kiran Manral, who initiated the online volunteer network India Helps after the Mumbai terrorist attacks, has also started a similar online campaign. And it’s not just women who extending their support to these campaigns but men too.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The #HappytoBleed Campaign On November 20, Nikita Azad wrote an open letter to Prayar Gopalakrishnan, the Devaswom chief of the Sabarimala temple after he told media about this on November 13. She also started a #HappyToBleed campaign on social media. In the #HappyToBleed Facebook page which she started with some friends, it reads, “Devaswom chief of Sabrimala temple, Kerala has given a sexist statement that once purity checking machines are invented, that check whether it is “right time” or not, (whether women are menstruating or not), he will think about letting women enter.By this statement, he has reinforced misogyny and strengthened myths that revolve around menstruation. Although this has become the immediate reason of our campaign, our focus is identifying all forms of patriarchy and preparing ourselves for struggle.” Nikita Azad’s campign also urges women to hold up “placards/sanitary napkins/charts saying Happy To Bleed, take their pictures, upload it to their profiles, and send it to us, in order to oppose the shame game played by patriarchal society since ages.” (Read her letter here)The #IBleedDealWithIt Campaign Meanwhile, author Kiran Manral has also launched an online campaign called #IBleedDealWithIt against the taboos and myths that surround menstruation. “I grew up knowing absolutely no menstrual taboos. I guess I was lucky. When I was older, I realised there were a host of things women were not supposed to do during their menstrual cycle and it quite flummoxed me, because if anything menstruating is a natural process and is part of being fertile as a woman,” Kiran said.”I began this campaign #IBleedDealWithIt in response to the realisation that we are still carrying a lot of myths and taboos about menstruation with us, even though we might be educated women of the 21st century. The change must come from us, we must realise that if we refuse to follow menstrual taboos which are restrictive and discriminatory, and counter superstition with rational explanation, we could initiate change,” she explains.People took to social media to extend their support to these campaigns by tweeting and posting pictures.

Growing intolerance cause for concern, says veteran Shabana Azmi

The actress reunited with her ‘Fire’ director Deepa Mehta and co-star Nandita Das for a session on the 1996 movie. Shabana said it is state’s business to deal with intolerance.

Shabana Azmi

Veteran actress Shabana Azmi on Friday said the growing intolerance in the country was a worrying factor and against the “very spirit of democracy”. The 65-year-old actress, who is known for being vocal about social issues, said the fringe groups should not get the limelight that they often do in the media.”What is really worrying me as an artiste is this growing culture of intolerance. It is really a cause for concern. For a long time, I said this is a fringe element and you need to put it down,” Shabana said at the “Women In The World” summit. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The actress reunited with her Fire director Deepa Mehta and co-star Nandita Das for a session on the movie 1996 movie. Shabana said it is state’s business to deal with intolerance.”Today it is not only about the fringe element, it is coming from a thought that is mainstream which is not respecting dissension at all. It is against the very spirit of democracy… You do not need to agree but do not resort to violence. Intolerance will continue to exist in society as long there are human beings… it state’s business to deal with it. How will the state deal with is the question which we need to ask,” she added.

Dhingra Commission will submit its report soon on Vadra land deal: Manohar Lal Khattar

The Commission was to probe subsequent transfer or disposal of the lands, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules, and other connected matters, bringing Vadra land deal under the scanner.

Justice SN Dhingra Commission, which is making inquiries into grant of land licences to some companies including that of Robert Vadra’s in four villages of Gurgaon, will soon submit its report, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said today. He said all “wrongdoings” of previous government would be made public and alleged scams, involving crores of rupees, be exposed so that the hard-earned money of the people could be returned in through development.Facts were being collected and those found guilty would be brought to book, he said adding that about 18 to 20 cases of corruption have come to the State government’s notice. Khattar said, of the three such cases, two have been handed over to the CBI. “The (Justice Dhingra) Commission would soon submit its report to the state government,” he said while addressing a public meeting after laying foundation stone of Government College for Women at village Alewa in the district. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khattar government had in May appointed one-man Commission of Inquiry to probe about alleged irregularities in grant of license(s) by the Department of Town and Country Planning to some companies, including that of son-in-law of Congress President Sonia Gandhi Robert Vadra’s, in Sector 83 of Gurgaon for developing commercial colonies. The Commission was to probe subsequent transfer or disposal of the lands, allegations of private enrichment, ineligibility of beneficiaries under the rules, and other connected matters, bringing Vadra land deal under the scanner. Notably, BJP had made land deals under the previous Congress regime in Haryana a major poll issue during the last year’s election alleging that rules were relaxed to favour a few including Vadra.The Commission was to submit its report to the government within six months from the date of its first sitting. Khattar, whose government completed one year in office a fortnight ago, further said during the Congress regime “people had witnessed a fragmented Haryana”. He said a White paper on the economic condition of the previous government released prior to the first budget session disclosed that there was a huge difference in per capita income of two districts sharing borders. “While annual per capita income of Gurgaon district was Rs 4.40 lakh, it was only Rs 40,000 in Mewat district. If Gurgaon could be developed why not Mewat,” he pointed out. He attacked previous governments, without taking names of the chief ministers representing those areas, saying there were times when the development of only Bhiwani (Bansi Lal) was ensured, then of Hisar (Bhajan Lal), then Sirsa (Om Prakash Chautala) and later Rohtak (Bhupinder Singh Hooda). Khattar said he was not criticising the development taking place in these districts, but if that had been carried out in all districts, all-round development of the State could have been ensured. Taking a dig at opposition parties for criticising his government, he said, they have no issues to raise, therefore, their leaders were allegedly making baseless statements.Referring to the statement made by Leader of Opposition, Abhay Chautala, regarding INLD’s rally at Rohtak on November 1, Khattar said the Sonipat rally of the BJP organised on November 5 was much bigger in terms of attendance, in spite of being rally of only eight districts while that of the INLD was a state-level rally. The Chief Minister said during the last one year, “the State government covered pits dug by the previous government, be it nepotism in government jobs or corruption and lopsided development.”Asserting that complete transparency would be ensured in the recruitment process, he said advertisement has been issued for 50,000 posts and the recruitment process would be complete in the coming year to meet the requirement for employees in various government departments. Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Birender Singh, said “those who looted the farmers during their tenure were now posing as their well-wishers”. He said before pointing the fingers at the present government they should first introspect themselves.Singh, who joined BJP in August last year ending his 42 year association with Congress, said, during the previous Congress regime in the state, “about 20,000 acre land of poor farmers had been acquired and released to the builders and colonisers at throwaway prices”. Singh alleged that the previous government had done injustice with Jind district and urged the Chief Minister to ensure its development on priority basis. Speaking on the occasion, Haryana Agriculture Minister, O P Dhankar said the government would take the district on the path of development at rapid pace “as it has lagged behind during the tenure of the previous governments”.He said the government had ordered special girdawari (revenue survey) in the State to assess the damage caused to the cotton, bajra and guar crops due to whitefly attack. Dhankar said the affected farmers would get compensation for crop loss within the next three weeks. Earlier, Khattar laid the foundation stones of five projects, Government College for Women, worth Rs 64 crore in Jind district today.Addressing a gathering after laying foundation stone of Government College for Women at village Alewa in Jind, Khattar said while Jind is the centre point of Haryana, the district has always remained neglected in terms of development. The Chief Minister said in past one year his government has inititated development projects which were more than those initiated in the last 40 years.Stressing that his government was committed to ensure uniform development of the State by rising above the party politics, he said priority in development would be given to those districts which have so far been lagging behind. He also said that a college for women would be established at every 20-km in the state so that girls would not have to travel far to get higher education. The Chief Minister said this during the annual function of SD College at Uchana in the district.He said it was necessary to provide quality education to youth for the state’s development. “In future, this distance would be reduced to 10 km,” according to an official release here. The Chief Minister said with a view to improve level of education, the government has prepared a special action plan under which various institutions could adopt government schools. He also urged the office-bearers of ‘Vidya Bharati Shiksha Sansthan’ to adopt government schools.

Congress slams omission of Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo in govt ad

The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country.

Congress MP V Hanumantha Rao on Saturday sat on a dharna as he took exception to the absence of a photograph of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in a Children’s Day advertisement brought out by the Union Women and Child Development Ministry. “The advertisement released by Maneka Gandhi’s ministry (Women and Child Development) in some newspapers had the photos of only the President and Prime Minister. “Nehruji was Prime Minister for 17 years. He was a freedom fighter and went to jail. He initiated public sector companies, irrigation projects and promoted science. They are trying to finish his legacy,” Rao said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajya Sabha MP charged that the omission of Nehru’s photograph in the advertisement amounted to an insult to the 125-crore people in the country. Rao, who at 10 AM began his protest at a statue of Nehru here, said he would continue with his dharna till 5 PM.He added that he would organise protests at all schools if the “practice” continued next year too.

India condemns Nepal deputy PM Mainali’s remarks as ‘malicious’

The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in a statement reiterated that “India’s only objective is peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal. India hopes that internal issues facing the country will be resolved through political dialogue and reconciliation. India will support all efforts in this regard.”

Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the new Constitution.
File Photo
PTI
India strongly condemned Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister’s allegations on Sunday that it is trying to disintegrate Nepal and annex the Terai region, saying such “baseless and malicious” comments vitiate the age-old historical and familial ties between the two countries.The Indian Embassy in Kathmandu in a statement reiterated that “India’s only objective is peace, stability and prosperity in Nepal. India hopes that internal issues facing the country will be resolved through political dialogue and reconciliation. India will support all efforts in this regard.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Condemning Deputy Prime Minister C P Mainali’s statement, it said, “The Embassy strongly condemns such baseless and malicious comments, which divert attention from the real issues facing the country and vitiate the age-old historical, familial and civilisational ties between India and Nepal.Veteran Communist leader Mainali during a media interaction here yesterday said that the blockade of key border trade points with India which is led by Indian-origin Madhesis was part of “Indian conspiracy to annex the Terai region by disintegrating it from the rest of the country” with the ‘one Madhes, one Pradesh’ (province) demand.Mainali, who is also the Minister of Women, Children and Social Welfare, claimed that India is executing a plan to disintegrate the Terai region through blockade. Madhesis, Indian-origin inhabitants of Nepal’s Terai region, are protesting division of their ancestral homeland in the new Constitution.The agitation close to the main trading point near Raxaul has halted supply of essential goods, causing acute shortage of fuel in Nepal. Over 40 people have died in the violent agitation that has also overwhelmed Indo-Nepal ties as transit of goods and fuel to the Himalayan nation from India via the major border trading points has been badly affected.

Congress to intensify stir on Andhra Pradesh special status issue

Centre should implement all promises made in the AP Re-organisation Act, he added.

The state unit of Congress on Friday decided to intensify its agitation on the issue of special status for Andhra Pradesh from Monday. The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee under president N Raghuveera Reddy’s chairmanship. C Ramachandraih, the party’s floor leader in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council told reporters about the resolutions passed during the executive committee meeting. “The party would intensify the agitation. The stir would be taken in a phased manner from November 9 till the end of the month over our demand to the Centre to accord special status,” he said. Centre should implement all promises made in the AP Re-organisation Act, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In another resolution, the party condemned the attitude of NDA Government for its attempt to undermine the contributions made by the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,” Ramachandraih said. Congress would take up a campaign on November 14, the birth anniversary of Jawaharlal Nehru, at all the district headquarters, to focus on his contribution to the nation before and after the independence. He said that on that day, a large scale public meeting would be conducted by the party at Guntur.In another resolution, the party demanded that the state government fulfilled all promises made by the TDP during last general elections. “The party feels that the TDP government failed to implement the crop loan waiver to all farmers as well as women under the Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWACRA) scheme,” he said.

Women don’t own anything, only gold is their strength, says PM Modi

“Women usually don’t own anything. House, car is usually named after their husband or son, but gold is their strength.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that gold is an important aspect of women empowerment, adding that gold schemes are focused on the country’s growth. “India has 20,000 tonnes of idle gold. Gold is an important aspect of women empowerment. Gold schemes are focused on the growth of the nation,” Prime Minister Modi said at the launch of gold monetisation, sovereign bond schemes.”Women usually don’t own anything. House, car is usually named after their husband or son, but gold is their strength,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said the Indian people repose a lot of trust in the value of gold, which is also a source of urgent funds.”The people are usually very much concerned about where to keep their gold while they are out on a vacation, this scheme takes care of that. The reason behind the success of these schemes will be the women of India,” he said.Prime Minister Modi spoke of the great bond of trust that the family goldsmith enjoys in India. He said that once the goldsmiths of India gain familiarity with the schemes, they could become the biggest agents of these schemes.He described the launch of the India Gold Coins, bearing the Ashok Chakra, as a matter of pride for the nation. He said that people would no longer have to depend on foreign minted gold bullion or coins.The Prime Minister also launched a website on these schemes, and distributed Certificates of Investment to six initial investors. The schemes were proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during presentation of the Union Budget this year.Prime Minister Modi had announced about the launch of the schemes in his “Mann ki Baat” programme last month.

Government forms panel to approve schemes under Nirbhaya Fund

The Nirbhaya Fund has a total of Rs 3,000 crore as Rs 1,000 crore each was allocated to it in 2014-15 and 2015-16 on top of Rs 1,000 crore initial corpus.

An empowered committee comprising officials from various ministries, including Women and Child Development, Home Affairs, Road Transport and Railways, has been constituted to approve schemes proposed under the Nirbhaya Fund, Finance Ministry said on Wednesday.The government in April this year has made the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry the nodal agency for the Nirbhaya Fund in place of Home Ministry, which could utilise only one per cent of the pool set up after the December 16, 2012 brutal gang-rape.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry, will be the chairperson of the committee.The Nirbhaya Fund has a total of Rs 3,000 crore as Rs 1,000 crore each was allocated to it in 2014-15 and 2015-16 on top of Rs 1,000 crore initial corpus.”The Members of the Empowered Committee may nominate an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary as representative to the Empowered Committee of Officers,” the Finance Ministry said in a circular.”The Empowered Committee of Officers will take decision on the sanction of schemes/projects from Nirbhaya Fund within l5 days of the date of receipt of the proposal by the Ministry of Women & Child Development,” it added.

Supreme Court calls for suggestions on collegium system

The court put the responsibility on senior advocate Arvind Dattar (petitioner lawyer) and government’s counsel additional solicitor general (ASG) Pinky Anand to compile suggestions.

After receiving diverse suggestions from various quarters on the improvement of the collegium system, the supreme court on Tuesday said that “there can’t be wholesale change” in the system for the appointment of judges for high courts and supreme court. It asked parties involved to respond by Thursday on four points– transparency, minimum eligibility criteria, need for secretariat (office) and how to deal with complaints that come against prospective appointments.Commencing the hearing on reform in the collegium system, a constitution bench headed by Justice JS Khehar said that the response the court had received was “tremendous” and “diverse in nature” after its October 16 verdict, which quashed the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “There are so many suggestions. They are so diverse in nature that we don’t know how to proceed in the matter. The diversity is tremendous, unimaginable…..It would be better if someone from both sides (petitioners who challenged the NJAC and the government) compiles these suggestions for us. The good minds may sit together and can come out with something final,” the bench said. The court put the responsibility on senior advocate Arvind Dattar (petitioner lawyer) and government’s counsel additional solicitor general (ASG) Pinky Anand to compile suggestions. Appearing for the Centre, attorney general (AG) Mukul Rohatgi emphasised on the need for greater transparency and accountability of the collegium system. Rohatgi argued for selection and rejection of candidature and also criteria for appointments and urged the bench put them in the public domain. However, he suggested different criteria for high courts as all 29 high courts are not at the same footing. The high courts in metros are different from other high courts. “You can’t compare apples and oranges…,”the AG said. Senior advocate Fali Nariman, on behalf of petitioner Advocate-on-record Association suggested that the secretariat for the collegium is functional all the time. “It would announce vacancies available. The secretariat will publish vacancies on its website…,” he said. The court took several suggestions of All India Bar Associations, Supreme Court Women Lawyers Association, which recommended the adequate representation of women lawyers from the bar to the bench. Noted advocates KK Venugopal, Anil Divan, Rajeev Dhawan, Arvind Dattar and Gopal Subramaniam have also asked for suggestions.

#AwardsWapsi: After Chetan Bhagat, Amish Tripathi hits out at writers

“There are a few horrific incidents that have happened, I admit, and the criminals responsible for these incidents need to be punished with full force of the law, but to label 1.25 billion Indians are communal, I think may be a bit of an excess,” he said.

File Photo

Disagreeing with the writers who have returned their awards over “rising intolerance”, noted author Amish Tripathi said that by their action, they were essentially painting Indian society as communal when the country had not become so. “I don’t think India has turned communal like Syria and Pakistan because, I don’t think, the data backs that. If you see the data, religious violence in India, compared to most other countries, is low,” he said.”I respectfully beg to differ with those writers who have returned their awards,” Tripathi added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The celebrated author was speaking to reporters after the launch of India’s first-ever book chapter downloads. The event was organised by Dailyhunt and Westland Publications here.Tripathi said that thought a few “horrific incidents” have happened, it would be “an excess” to label 1.25 billion Indians as communal.”There are a few horrific incidents that have happened, I admit, and the criminals responsible for these incidents need to be punished with full force of the law, but to label 1.25 billion Indians are communal, I think may be a bit of an excess,” he said.”There are few religious extremists in India, but there are vast majority of Indians who are deeply religious and deeply liberal,” Tripathi added. Tripathi also noted, instead of communal violence, gender violence is high in India, which is backed by figures enumerated in the data. “More than communal violence, gender violence is high in India. Women suffer a very great deal from the moment they are in the womb. Women suffer hugely In India,” he said. “The data clearly shows that gender violence has taken on mass proportion, 500,000 women are killed in the womb – that is mass violence,” he added. “One thing has to be clearly understood, when a writer receives his award he is not receiving from the government. He is receiving it from the Indian society, so, when he returns his award he actually is returning it to the Indian society.He is actually passing a comment on Indian society, not on the government,” he said.”Thereby, I want to respectfully raise a question if they are returning their awards – they essentially are saying that the Indian society is communal – 1.25 billion people have become communal,” he added. Asked if he would support the counter-protest against writers returning their awards, Tripathi said, “Any kind of debate, like I said, people have a right to return awards and protest against writers returning awards. Look, we are a free country. We have a right to express our point of view.”

Dec 16 gangrape: Victim’s parents dismayed over juvenile’s release

The victim’s father pinned the blame on the Centre accusing it of failing to improve the safety situation.

Maneka Gandhi today expressed helplessness in extending punishment to the juvenile (PTI)

File Photo
The parents of the 2012 December 16 gangrape victim on Monday expressed their exasperation with the legal system and wondered whether the juvenile convict in the case, who is to be shortly released, has undergone any reform.They were reacting to the comments of Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi who stressed on the need to keep a “close watch” on him following his impending release.”He was few months short of an adult while committing the crime and was sent to a reformation centre for this reason. But did he reform? Thousands of girls are being raped across the country. What has changed?” the victim’s mother asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Echoing the minister’s apprehension that the convict, who has turned 21, may commit another crime, the victim’s father pinned the blame on the Centre accusing it of failing to improve the safety situation. “He may go out and commit another crime and if he does, it will be due to shortcomings on the government’s part,” he said.Meanwhile, women’s rights activists appeared divided over Gandhi’s remarks. While activist Kavita Krishnan slammed the minister for issuing “provocative” statements, Brinda Adige welcomed the comments saying the minister’s choice of words may have been “poor”, justice has actually not been served. “It is not about the possibility of him committing another crime but about the possibility of violation of another person… the law needs to be taken care of,” Adige said.Krishnan, a member of CPI(ML), called for urgent reforms in the area of juvenile justice which she said will make reformation and rehabilitation possible in the actual sense. “Such provocative statements won’t help and may put the convict’s life in threat in the form of societal retribution following his release. There should be monitoring, but from the point of view of whether he is being properly rehabilitated or not instead of spying on him,” she said.CPI(M) leader Subhasini Ali said the danger of the accused committing another crime “is always there” so there should be a mechanism to keep a tab on him. “Like someone who’s out in parole.”Ahead of release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gangrape case next month, Gandhi today expressed helplessness in extending punishment to him and said while law was adhered to, she was not sure whether the justice was done in one of the most gruesome cases.She advocated that a ‘close watch’ be kept on the accused after he is freed after completing sentence in the December 16 gangrape and murder case and said she will raise the issue with the authorities for doing so.

All you need to know about Karva Chauth

Here’s why women observe Karva Chauth.

Karva Chauth celebration

The festival of Karva Chauth comes once a year and has a very rigorous fast observed by ladies from sunrise till sunset for the long life, happiness and safety of their husbands. Karva Chauth is a very prominent festival of North India and this tradition of keeping fast is seen more in women from this region. For those of you who don’t know, Karva Chauth has many ancient stories associated with it.In the Mahabharata, Arjun once went to the Nilgiris for penance. In the meanwhile, Pandavas faced a lot of trouble. Seeing their adversity, Draupadi pleaded to Lord Krishna for his help and he suggested that she observe this fast. She followed the fast with all rituals and the result was Pandavas were freed of their problems. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The day of Karva Chauth starts with daughter-in-law getting a sargi from her mother-in-law. A sargi is basically a collection of variety of food which the daughter-in-law must have before the sunrise. It contains sweets and fruits along with parathas to be consumed before the sunrise. After sunrise, she is not supposed to have even a drop a water until she sees moon in the night. This day holds a very special importance in a women’s life since it is her way of showing love and respect to her husband. The women get decked up in their ‘laal joda’ (a red colour garment), apply mehendi and dress up elaborately like a bride.In the evening,while breaking the fast, all the women sit in circle and pass around their ‘baya’. The ‘baya’ is a plate full of sweets with a saree given from the woman’s mother to her mother-in-law. The katha of the Karva Chauth is read aloud and after the moon is sighted, the woman prays for her husband’s well-being. The first sip of water and first bite of the food is offered to her by her husband. After the fast is broken, husbands are expected to gift their wives a certain thing as a gesture of goodwill and as appreciation for the pains they took.In the north India where this day is no less than Diwali, you have markets flooded with all items related to Karva Chauth and its preparations. Women pamper themselves a day prior to this big day and make sure they look their best on their special day. One of the major reasons, why this Karva Chauth became such an important and famous amongst us, is Bollywood. Many Bollywood movies have shown the Karva Chauth sequence thanks to the Johars, Chopras, Bhansalis and Barjatyas.Some useful tips for ladies who couldn’t keep fast this year but plan to next year– Avoid eating fried food like samosa in the morning before you start your fasting. This might make you nauseous.- Eat lots of fruits like sweet limes, oranges, apricots, dates and figs which will keep you hydrated- Eat yoghurt. It helps a lot.- Avoid having coffee or tea. You might need your gelusil after this.

South African grannies: How these India-trained solar engineers are lighting entire villages

Trained in India, South Africa’s solar mamas have taken light to 12,000 houses in 161 villages

Solar Mama from Africa fabricating her LED Solar Lantern
File Photo

“Men are untrainable; they’re restless competitive and demand certificates. A man who learns the craft will never teach another man,” says Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy of the Barefoot College. “Women, on the other hand, are stable learners. They grasp well, and always teach other women what they learn.”The craft Roy is speaking of is assembling solar lanterns. And, the women he speaks of are grannies from South African countries.Roy’s Barefoot College, a grassroots movement that started in 1972 in Tilonji in Rajasthan works for community development.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>His movement has been educating school drop-outs for decades. In 2005, Barefoot College started training women in to assemble solar lights.
Training Solar Mamas from Africa – Barefoot CollegeTill now, 700 women from several countries in the Middle East, Pacific, South Africa, have graduated from the college.However, Barefoot’s most successful run has been in South Africa. “Our outstation facility is in Zanzibar. And another is coming up in South Sudan. Facilities are planned in Tanzania, Bukina Faso, too,” says Meagan Fellone, CEO, Barefeet. Each of these countries have pledged $4,00,000 for upcoming facilities. Between them they have solar electrified 161 complete villages covering nearly 12,000 houses and saved close to 1 million litres of kerosene from polluting the atmosphere-their significant contribution to combating climate change.Sanjit ‘Bunker’ Roy Founder of Barefoot College These are women who don’t know how to read and write at the forefront of the global efforts on climate change. Our women are more trained than solar engineers that hold degrees from prestigious colleges,”On Wednesday, a group of 25 South African grannies of the current batch, along with their Indian counterparts will welcome the South African first ladies.In the facility in Tilonji, the women, who are trained for six months, learn to make. 40-watt LED wall lights fitted with a USB port and charger for mobiles and 10-watt panel lights with charger for mobiles. African Solar Mama Learning how to fabricate charge controller by sign language – Barefoot College”They also undergo a workshop, and when we send them off, they are given a starter kit that lasts them for two years,” says Fellone. Roy says that there are plans to scale up the work to bring light to the homes of over 120,000 households in 100 communities, and will train another 480 women in the coming 3 years. A TEDTALK video of Roy explaining the work of Barefoot College:

Domestic Violence Act: Ten years on women yet to see promised legal redressal

Even as the Domestic Violence Act completes a decade today, many aggrieved women are yet to recieve the legal redressal they were promised

Lakshmi in a vegetative state months before her death

dna
Barely a kilometre from the nearest metro station, along the dusty lane of the JJ cluster in Dwarka’s Sector 14, is where the women meet to tell me how everyone — from her husband to her in-laws to the state machinery — had a part to play in Lakshmi’s death.“She was a shy, simple girl content with living inside the four corners of her house. She barely had any friends and would be engrossed in the work around the house,” says Lajjo, Lakshmi’s aunt.Married to Satveer in February, 2008, Lakshmi had it going smooth till the day her brother-in-law died in 2009. It was then that both Satveer and her in-laws started torturing her. One day, Satveer beat her up mercilessly, and tried to forcibly strangulate her. When Lakshmi lost consciousness, he dropped her at her house and fled. Due to a serious spinal injury, she was admitted in the hospital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“She went to the police almost 12 times, no arrests were ever made. In the court, the judge who heard her complaint had to come down from the dias to speak to her because she could not stand properly,” says Ankita, a paralegal helping Lakshi’s family.The protection officer deputed to her, Parmesh Tokas, did not seem to have any safety plan in place for Lakshmi. In June, 2010, in a local panchayat meeting, Satveer’s family pleaded them to send her home. Four days later, Lakshmi, who had by now recovered from, was again assaulted, and again dropped her at her parent’s home. “This time it was so severe that the local doctors referred her to AIIMS. In AIIMS, they would not admit her without her medical papers. Satveer had the papers and he did not give it then,” says Ankita.Lakshmi & Satveer married in early 2008. Photo taken on their wedding dayThe Dwarka Mahila court further ordered Satveer to pay for her treatment, but he never paid. Soon after, Lakshmi died. And Satveer was never arrested, and court proceedings are still going on. Lakshmi is not alone; in clear contravention of the Domestic Violence Act which stipulates disposal of cases within 60 days from the first date of hearing, cases under the district courts in Delhi for Legal Redressal continue to remain unaddressed for years.“We have found that the Protection Officers (POs) are unwilling to file the Domestic Incident Reports (DIRs) on behalf of the aggrieved women directly with the magistrates. Instead they refer the survivor (women) to the Delhi Legal Services Authorities (DLSA), and this is a time consuming process,” Leena Prasad, lawyer working with Action India, and NGO working on gender-based violence.A recent RTI that was filed by Action India has found that in not a single case under the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) in the last nine years, was any DIR filed, as mandated by the PWDVA.RTI information also indicates that the courts in Delhi have not sought the assistance of any welfare expert nor have the 18 Protection Officers ever prepared a single safety plan for any survivor of domestic violence.“When the PWDVA was implemented and enforced from October 26, 2005, it was a historical day for all of us in the women’s movement because this was the victory of decades of our collective struggle,” says Leena. “We have forgotten that domestic violence is an issue that not only requires quick action, but it also needs those who are helping victims.”

Hyderabad: Sex predator uses exam data to trap, sexually exploit and blackmail girls

Hyderabad: Meticulousness. This is what set apart this sex predator from Hyderabad from others of his kind. He leveraged technology to enlist, identify, contact and lure girls. He maintained a register and ticked off those he was done with. On the face of it, what he did involved thorough planning and execution, but obviously, that was hardly a deterrent for Kalakanda Madhu.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Madhu, the police believe, sexually exploited scores of college girls over a period of time through his unusual modus operandi. The 33-year-old suspended assistant manager in the Food Corporation of India from Nalgonda in Telangana lured his victims by offering them career guidance, according to Additional Commissioner of Hyderabad City Police Swati Lakra.

He began by downloading the profiles and contact information from the hall-ticket data of girl students of class 10, intermediate, Osmania University Common Entrance Test, and Osmania University PG examinations. This information, made available on the websites, is intended to provide details to students by the authorities concerned. Madhu connived with one Siva, who runs an internet centre at LB Nagar in the city, and downloaded the data.

He accessed the details of nearly 5,000 students of various classes and listed their phone numbers and addresses, said Lakra. Based on the cellular phone number of each girl, Madhu bought SIM cards of the respective mobile service providers. He exploited the loophole in the sale of SIM cards by buying them from roadside kiosks set up by the service providers to promote sales.

Since filling personal details and providing proof of bona fides are mandatory to obtain SIM connection, he paid extra money to the sellers of mobile connections in Chaitanyapuri and Punjagutta (which are almost 20 km apart) and got his cards with the help of fake personal data and fake names – Bingi Maheswar and Gujjalwar Satish. He had 20 SIM cards using which he made calls to the girls (his targets) with different alias names.

Madhu, good at glib talk, would convince the girls that he was a career counsellor and that he would provide them the best guidance for a bright career. He used to make the calls after sending them postcard greetings on their respective birthdays (as obtained form the examination hall-ticket data).

If the parents of the girls answered, he would cut the call. If the girls themselves answered, he would lure them to meet him. Once acquainted, he collected the social network profiles of some of those girls.

Madhu sexually abused whoever surrendered to him and blackmailed a few others, who were reluctant, by saying that he would post sensitive information and upload their obscene pictures on social media.

He marked “over” against the names of the girls whom he had abused, and “danger” against the names of those who questioned and shouted at him. Madhu classified those who refused to yield or sounded reluctant as “waste”. All this classification was marked in the registers. He rented two houses in Bandlaguda and Nagole areas where he took the girls.

The police recovered several bottles of I-pills (emergency contraceptive), 19 mobile phones, a desktop and a laptop, two motorcycles, and the pen drive in which the data is stored in digital form.

Cases of sexual harassment were registered against him in 2012. He now faces many criminal cases in several police stations in the city. The police took three months to connect the dots and establish the criminality of Madhu following a complaint by two girls.

Huge leap: Govt unlocks cockpits of IAF fighter jets for women pilots

New Delhi: Women members of the Indian Air Force today broke another grass ceiling with the government approving induction of female fighter pilots, the first time when women would be in combat role in the country’s armed forces.

Ready for women pilots. ReutersReady for women pilots. Reuters

Ready for women pilots. Reuters

The first women fighter pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing training at the Air Force Academy, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The news first came in with the Ministry of Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar tweeting out:

“This progressive step is in keeping with the aspirations of Indian women and is in line with contemporary trends in armed forces of developed nations,” the ministry said.

It said that the performance of women, inducted into transport and helicopter streams of the IAF, has been “praiseworthy” and at par with their male colleagues.

“Inducting women into the fighter stream would provide them with an equal opportunity to prove their mettle in combat roles as well,” the ministry said.

As per the plan, the first women pilots would be selected from the batch which is presently undergoing flying training at Air Force Academy.

After successful completion of ab-initio training, they would be commissioned in the fighter stream in June 2016.

Thereafter, they would undergo advanced training for one year and would enter a fighter cockpit by June 2017.

Presently, the Indian Army is inducting women into the Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation (Air Traffic Control), Army Air Defence, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers, Army Service Corps, Army Ordinance Corps, Intelligence Corps, Army Education Corps and Judge Advocate Generals Branches/Cadres.

The Indian Navy is inducting women in the Judge Advocate Generals, Logistics, Observer, Air Traffic Controller, Naval Constructor and Education branches/cadres.

However, it has moved a proposal to induct women as pilots for its fleet of surveillance aircraft.

With this decision to open up induction of women in the fighter stream, women have become eligible for induction in all branches and streams of the IAF.

The IAF is presently inducting women in the Transport and Helicopter stream of the flying branch, Navigation, Aeronautical Engineering, Administration, Logistics, Accounts, Education and Meteorology branches.

The Ministry of Defence has also taken up a comprehensive review pertaining to induction of women in Armed Forces, both in short service commission and permanent commission, and once finalised, more branches would be opened up for induction of women to give them the space which they deserve in the Armed Forces of the country, the statement said.

The air force currently has about 1,500 women on its rolls of which 94 are pilots and 14 navigators.

The move is in sync with global trends and will help IAF overcome shortage of officers in the fighter aircraft stream.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had been batting for increased role of women in the armed forces but had said that it will take some time.

“It has to be done in a phase-wise manner. It won’t happen immediately,” Parrikar had said on 12 October, adding that the final notification on inducting women as fighter aircraft pilots would also take sometime.

He also cited that the United Arab Emirates Air Force has women fighter-plane pilots who had carried out strikes on ISIS targets.

PTI

More girls are dying before age 5 than boys in India, reveals UN report

United Nations: India is among the countries with the largest surplus of men and a worrying under-five sex ratio with more girls dying before the age of five than boys, according to a UN report on Tuesday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“The World’s Women 2015” report launched said men outnumber women in eastern Asia, southern Asia, Oceania, and western Asia.

The three regions have the highest surplus of men in absolute numbers: 50.5 million in Eastern Asia (mainly due to China), 49.5 million in Southern Asia (mainly due to India), and 12.1 million in Western Asia (mainly due to Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

In absolute terms, countries with the largest surplus of men are China (52 million), in Eastern Asia, and India (43 million), in Southern Asia.

The ratio of men to women and the surplus of men in these two most populous countries largely determine the surplus of men observed at the global level, the report said.

The report said that in India, while sex-selective abortions have been technically illegal since 1996, the law has had “little effect so far on the sex ratio at birth”.

India has the lowest sex ratio in under-5 mortality, with a ratio of 93 (93 boys die before age 5 for 100 girls that die by that age).

“This is also the only country with an under-5 mortality sex ratio under 100 (more girls die than boys),” it said.

India alone accounted for 21 percent of all under-5 deaths in 2013 and this low sex ratio in under-5 mortality is pulling down the average for Southern Asia as a whole and the entire world.

“Higher mortality among girls can be closely related to a general preference for sons in India, which is expressed in special treatment for boys in terms of parental investment in nutrition, vaccinations, access to health treatment and parental care in general,” the report said.

It further said that in China and India, between 1995 and 2013, women’s participation in the labour force declined from 72 to 64 per cent and from 35 to 27 per cent, respectively.

Child marriage is also most common in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with India accounting for one third of the global total of child brides.

PTI

Disempowered and neglected: Status of women remains a worrying aspect in Kashmir narrative

By David Devadas

The suicide of a young married woman in Srinagar a few days ago not only shocked Kashmiris but also brought to the fore a generally neglected facet of Kashmir’s social realities. The stresses that married women endure have increased manifold over the past three decades. These decades have been a time of militant violence. The environment of violence has vastly increased the challenges that women face. Yet, most narratives on violence have either ignored women or treated them as objectified victims. Such deeper social trends as the social disempowerment of women have gone largely unnoticed.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to neighbours’ and relatives’ accounts, the woman who died of burns had suffered great torment and humiliation at her marital home. Finally, she could take it no more on Eid this year, and set herself on fire. Her desperate act is surely only the tip of an iceberg of societal distress.

Although a much larger number of women are educated now than a couple of generations ago, the ironic fact is that they generally feel more disempowered than their grandmothers did. This is partly a result of the waves of rural-to-urban migration over the past three decades, during which vast sprawls of erstwhile farmland and wetlands have become suburbs. Albeit illiterate, the woman of a rural household had great autonomy, even authority, over not only her kitchen but the household and farm too.

As in much of south Asia, an educated woman works, perhaps as a teacher, but must also take care of all the housework. University professors complain sotto voce that they must take off their burqa as soon as they get home after work and go straight to work in the kitchen. By evening, they must supervise the children’s homework, have everything clean and tidy, and smile warmly while serving tea to any guests their husbands might bring home – generally without notice. “I cannot complain that I have a headache,” says one with a wry smile.

Educated women face another kind of disempowerment from rising tides of social and religious conservatism. Just a few weeks ago, young women were groped and assaulted for trying to attend Kashmir’s first marathon. The most galling aspect of this repression is that after they suffer such indignities, women’s voices and narratives are flatly denied, even on purportedly gender-sensitive media platforms.

This sort of denial of their narratives combines with repression by clerical and other culture police – including, ironically, members of the police force – to frustrate them. An all-girls rock band had to wind up after facing threats and vicious abuse a few years ago. It must be said that this too is common enough in other parts of south Asia but, in contemporary Kashmir, many feel the implicit threat of violence more keenly than elsewhere.

Since the state is used to viewing Kashmir through the prisms of ‘terrorism’, ‘radicalisation’, ‘alienation’ and ‘insurgency’, whatever space is given for the expression of talents or fulfilment of economic and cultural aspirations is provided primarily to young men. Such strategies are oblivious to the fact that young women not only have a key role in moulding society, they are also inherently likely to have a greater stake in peace.

Ironically, one of the reasons for such skewed policies is populism, which many politicians feel impelled to adopt. As Prime Minister-cum-Sports Minister of the state before 1953, Sheikh Abdullah used to stand on the Polo Ground in the centre of Srinagar and supervise sports for women students. Principals of the Government College for Women such as Mehmooda Ali Shah were exemplars and courageous enthusiasts of such co-curricular activities as theatre.

Contemporary political leaders have not given the same importance to promoting women and their rights as Abdullah, GM Bakshi and GM Sadiq did. Although today’s women leaders such as Mehbooba Mufti and Sakina Itoo are courageous in their own right but, apart from Hina Bhat of the BJP, they have been discreet about espousing women’s rights.

Policymakers would do well to address this lacuna. For, young women urgently seek space for the fulfilment of their aspirations. Leaving a women’s college in the heart of downtown after conducting a survey a few years ago, one found a couple of young women in the college uniform waiting at the gate. “We want to thank you, sir,” they said. Perplexed, one asked why. “Somebody came to ask what we want,” they replied. “Koi poochhta nahi hai, ke hum kya chahate hain (Nobody asks what we want).”

(Author of `In Search of a Future, the Story of Kashmir,’ David Devadas is an expert on Kashmiri politics and society.)

Chennai: Transgender associations demand an end to police brutality and harassment

They said that they are all perceived as sex workers by cops.

Representational Image

Four transgender associations in the city have registered a complaint with the police commissioner on Friday. They allege that they are ill-treated and labelled as everything from sex workers to thieves by the police.A report in a leading daily states that they alleged harassment by the police. Transgenders from Thozhi, Nirangal, Snehidhi and Sahodaran took up the issue with police officials and put forth their grievances.They said that they were picked on by cops, especially at night at spots where they find sex workers. They also said that not all of them are sex workers but they are perceived by the cops as such.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a recommendation in 2008 by members of the Tamil Nadu State Commission for Women and Tamil Nadu AIDS Solidarity Action asking the state government to take punitive action against any police officers who sexually abuse and harass transgenders. Police are now looking into this matter.

20-year-old girl gangraped by six men in a guest house in Gurgaon

Gurgaon: A 20-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by six youths in a guest house located at DLF City in Gurgaon, police said on Friday.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The victim, hailing from West Bengal, stated before police that she along with a female friend and one of the accused person came from Delhi to a guest house where the remaining five accused persons were present, situated at DLF for her birthday celebration last night, they said.

On the pretext of celebration, the accused persons got drunk and raped her one by one, police said.

She and her friend were also allegedly beaten up, they added.

In the morning, her friend managed to slip away from the guest house and informed the police.

Consequently the girl was rescued and an FIR was registered in this regard, informed Deputy Commissioner of Police East Deepak Saharan.

He further said that all six accused persons, who belong to Nepal, have been arrested.

The medical examination of the girl was conducted and her statement was recorded before a judicial magistrate by the police.

Further investigations are going on in the matter.

Police lodged an FIR under IPC sections 323, 342, 506, 376 D, 120B IPC against the six.

PTI

Aligarh jail gives cooking duties to men to reduce fights among women

One of the biggest reasons for the fight is caste, she said, as the there would be fights over person from another caste touching a vessel.

Representational image.

Reuters
Fights between women prisoners in the kitchen at Aligarh jail has led the authorities to have the men cook instead, reports a leading daily. This was the solution that the jail staff came up with to reduce the squabbles. According to the report, the prison had separate kitchens for men and women two years ago. The women’s kitchen was shut down because of the escalating fights. Since then the women were allowed to cook meals in the kitchen only for festivals such Navratri and Ramzan.The officer in charge of the women’s wing of the jail told the daily that the fights occurred over quality of food, the order in which it is served and instances like taking too long and using up burner on the stove. One of the biggest reasons for the fight is caste, she said, as there would be fights over person from another caste touching a vessel. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The jail has 100 inmates cook for the rest of the 3000. Since the male inmates have taken over the cooking duties, the fights have reportedly declined.

Maharashtra: Anganwadi workers to get 2014 Diwali bonus this year

The erstwhile Congress government in April, 2014, had promised a bonus amount of Rs 1,000 to be given as bhau bheej ahead of Diwali 2014. However, the money is expected to be handed over to workers now.

Anganwadi workers.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
There is nothing unusual about Anganwadi workers protesting the delay in their salaries by a few months. However, for Diwali bonus 2014 the two lakh odd workers across the state had to wait for almost a year. The erstwhile Congress government in April, 2014, had promised a bonus amount of Rs 1,000 to be given as bhau bheej ahead of Diwali 2014. However, the money is expected to be handed over to workers now.Anganwadis are government-sponsored child and mother care centres in rural areas. As per department sources, the erstwhile government had made the promise– which was more of an election gimmick— but had not created any head for the announcement in the department budget. After a yearlong wait, the women and child welfare department has now issued a government resolution dated September 22 announcing the bonus money. The resolution also promises release of 2015 bonus on time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There were certain technical issues because of which the payment was delayed. And then there was change of government etc. However, this time we have channelised the process and are releasing the funds for 2014-15 and 2015-16 simultaneously,” said a senior officer.In June this year the Maharashtra Anganwadi Sevika Union had alleged that the state government has not paid the salaries of its workers for the last four months.The Union had alleged that despite several representations submitted to the Women and Child development minister Pankaja Munde, who also holds additional charge of rural development, and finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar their demands were not met as both ministers maintained that the government has no money to pay dues.Finally, it was during the monsoon session that the government sanctioned a budget for the salaries of these workers and also enhanced their stipend amount for Anganwadi sevikas and attendants by Rs 950 and Rs 500 respectively. For mini-anganwadi sevikas the stipend has been increased by Rs 550. Their earlier stipend from the state government was Rs 450. The Centre’s share for anganwadi sevikas is Rs 3,000 and for attendants it is Rs 1,500. For mini-anganwadi sevikas, the Centre’s share is Rs 2,250. The total budget for stipend is Rs 892.4 crore annually.

DCW expresses concern over poor condition of night shelters

liwal said that at two shelters, several security issues came to light.

Maliwal also pointed at a lack of proper lighting and infrastructure.

Delhi needs better night shelters and not “night life”, DCW has said while terming the existing ones “extremely unsafe for women” after surprise visits by its chief at three such facilities here. The women’s commission also said it will issue notices to DUSIB and the city police following the surprise visits which brought out “shocking facts”, including serious security issues. Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal along with her team last night visited three night shelters run by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) in Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid and slept at one of the shelters. “Delhi needs better night shelters, not a ‘night life’.The night shelters are not only few in number, they are extremely unsafe for women,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maliwal said that at two shelters, several security issues came to light. For instance, she explained, the male and female night shelters were discovered to be adjacent to each other at same complex with no security restrictions in place. Also, there were few toilets and no separate washrooms for women at the Jama Masjid shelter. And, there was only one woman caretaker while the rest were all male guards. “The chairperson will be sending a notice to DUSIB to explain the lapses and their preparedness for homeless women in winters. “Notice will also be issued to the authorities responsible for the street lights in Jama Masjid. Report will be sought from police on the missing children in the area,” DCW said.”There are no CCTV cameras. At the Jama Masjid night shelter, where the DCW team slept, it was observed that friends of the male guards kept pouring in throughout the night. Maliwal also pointed at a lack of proper lighting and infrastructure. “The family shelter at Jama Masjid was really shocking as there was no separation between families, not even a simple veil,” she said.Around 110 people were present at the Jama Masjid shelter yesterday, including nearly 60 women and children, DCW said, adding that the water supply from DJB was extremely irregular and even proper food was not made available to the people. It further added, “In the past 10 days, locals have complained about many children going missing. One girl child aged four went missing from the night shelter three days back and has not been found yet. DCW also said that there was a need for at least one more women’s shelter as the winter was approaching.

Mamata Banerjee lends support to Missionaries of Charity’s stand on adoption

Following revision in guidelines on adoption by the Centre, the Missionaries of Charity, set up by late Mother Teresa, had said in a statement on Saturday that it had stopped adoption at their orphanages two months ago

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday supported the Missionaries of Charity on stopping adoption at their orphanages following a recent change in rule by the Centre.”We fully support Missionaries of Charity and Sister Prema in their decision to opt out of adoption programme. They have a right to do so,” Banerjee tweeted. “The essence of India is unity in diversity. This is the pillar of our great nation,” she said.Following revision in guidelines on adoption by the Centre, the Missionaries of Charity, set up by late Mother Teresa, had said in a statement on Saturday that it had stopped adoption at their orphanages two months ago. “This decision was arrived at by the Missionaries of Charity Headquarters in Kolkata soon after we received the new “Guidelines Governing Adoption of Children, 2015″ issued under a notification from the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development,” the statement had said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The move comes after revised guidelines were notified in July making single parents (separated, divorced, unwed mothers) eligible to adopt through online registration of prospective parents. The Women and Child Development Ministry had recently said they would identify those child care homes, which are not complying with the revised guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Act, one of which includes orphanages run by the Missionaries.

In Gaya, the glass ceiling breaks: Women to supervise seven booths in phase 2 of Bihar polls

Gaya: Come 16 October — the date of the second phase of polling — Bihar will witness women power in seven of its polling stations in Gaya. Until now, it was a rare sight to have women election officers in the state. The glass ceiling is set to break.

For the first time in the state, the district administration will have seven polling stations in Gaya fully managed and administered by women staff — right from polling officials to security personnel.

District Magistrate, Gaya, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal told Firstpost, “During elections, Bihar witnesses a curfew-like situation and there’s a fear psychosis among the voters, especially women. As a result, women were excluded from the poll process, unlike in other states where women act as polling officers. But, now to break this practice, we’ve decided to have seven polling stations where everything will be managed exclusively by women staff.”

Women poll officers gear up ahead of the Bihar election. Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

Women poll officers gear up ahead of the Bihar election. Debobrat Ghose/Firstpost

“The Election Commission has not only given permission for this initiative, but has also appreciated it as a step towards empowering women. We’ve spoken with the Bihar police and central security forces to provide women constables and sub-inspectors to guard the booths,” added Agarwal.

The district administration has identified seven polling stations at Mahavir Inter College and Madhya Vidyalaya in Gaya town which will act as model polling stations with special facilities like a supply of drinking water, overhead sheds and seating arrangements for the voters. To encourage people to vote, the first-time voters will be felicitated with certificates.

Parul Priya, senior deputy collector and nodal officer of this initiative, said, “We’ve roped in 50 women from the education, banking, government and administration sectors for this project, and are providing them with proper training. This is a unique experiment conceived by the district magistrate. No doubt, it’s a tough job, but women have volunteered their services. They are even ready to go to highly-sensitive booths. Initially, we have assigned them to safe areas.”

Gaya is one of the highly sensitive districts of Bihar due to the active presence of the Naxals who have already given a poll boycott call.

“I’m a government employee at the e-Samadhan project and when I found out about this experiment, I volunteered my services,” said Monika (22).

Anand Rupanjali (44), acting principal of Murarpur Government School, said, “I was brought up and educated in Goa. I never saw such discrimination against women in the electoral process both in Goa and Madhya Pradesh (where I’m from), as I have seen in Bihar. This initiative will break this glass ceiling one day.”

A group of 50 enthusiastic women could be seen undergoing intensive training under the nodal officer at the District Collectorate and on the field, to understand the nuances of the polling process. They will function as presiding officers to poll assistants.

Nilofer Nahid (46), an Urdu teacher in a middle school in Gaya town said, “We’ve been motivated so well by the DM and nodal officer that we no longer have the fear and inhibition that we had earlier. Our husbands have also encouraged us for this new role.”

Another member, Priyanka Kumari (25), a Union Bank of India employee, enthusiastically remarked, “It’s a matter of great pride for us to be a part of the electoral process. All of a sudden we’ve become icons of women empowerment in the state.”

“This initiative has become an example of women empowerment in Bihar and in due course, more women will join the electoral process,” added Saira Bano (49), a government school teacher.

Shashi Prabha was quick to add, “Yeh shakti rupa nari kaho kahan kab haari hai? (when and where has the woman, an embodiment of power, ever lost?)”

DCW sends notice to Tihar DG after woman doctor alleges molestation by prisoner

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has issued a notice to the Tihar Jail authorities, seeking a report on a woman doctor’s allegations that she was molested by a convict at the prison health care facility.

On a complaint filed the doctor with it, the Commission sought to know why the order of DG (Prison) that mandates jail staff to accompany woman doctors visiting male jails was not followed in this case.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Please provide the status of implementation of the said order including the list of employees responsible for ensuring the security of women staff, along with their duties…the complainant has alleged that the said order was not followed at the time of the incident. Please inform the Commission the reasons for the same,” DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said in her letter to Tihar Jail Director General Alok Kumar Verma.

Maliwal also asked the Tihar Jail authorities to provide information regarding the number of woman doctors, nurses and other female staff deployed in male prisons and also sought the reasons for appointing them.

Further, the DCW chief said the doctor in her complaint has informed that she had reported similar incidents but no action was taken and asked the DG to submit a detailed action taken report.

The Commission has also asked the authorities to provide copies of the complaints regarding sexual harassment received by them from women employees since 2012 till date, along with the action taken report.

“Further the complainant has informed the Commission that when her husband approached the Tihar Jail Superintendent to complain about the incident, the Superintendent displayed insensitivity… not deputing any jail staff to accompany the complainant to the police station to file an FIR.

“This allegation is extremely serious. Please ascertain the facts of the matter and provide the Commission a detailed status report on the same. Also provide details of the policy adopted at present to deal with such complaints,” the Commission said.

A complaint has been filed at Hari Nagar police station.

The accused has been identified as 35-year-old Gurmeet, who was awarded life sentence last year in a murder case.

PTI