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Archives for : June2018

Open Letter to Amitabh Bachchan on his association with Horlicks #MissionPoshan

PL SIGN ONLINE PETITION HERE https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Amitabh_Bachchan_Amitabh_Bachchan_dissociate_with_Horlicks_MissionPoshan/share/?new

Dear Sh. Amitabh Bachchan,

We came to know about your association with recent campaign on undernutrition in India and truly appreciate your commitment for the cause.

However, we are shocked to see that you are joining hands with Horlicks and Network 18 to launch “Mission Poshan” to support India’s Rashtriya Poshan Abhiyaan.

We like to submit as under:-
Horlicks is a high sugar product, as 100 gram of a popularly advertised pack of Horlicks Delight, contains 78 gram of carbohydrates of which 32 grams is sucrose sugar. This is harmful for children as it may contribute to childhood obesity and non communicable disease in later life. We hope you are aware that WHO recommends a reduced daily intake of free sugars throughout the life course to less than 10% of total energy intake. Furthermore, in the interest of good health WHO suggests intake of free sugars to below 5% of total energy intake.

In 2016, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a Resolution 69.9 that recommends ending inappropriate promotion of foods for children from ages 6−36 months based on WHO and FAO dietary guidelines. Going by this recommendation promotion of Horlicks falls in category of “inappropriate” as they use false health claims in TV commercials. It is neither good food nor nutrition, it is just a high sugar product, what now a days is called empty calories.

We believe that this campaign is misleading and undermines optimal nutrition.Big food companies are known to adopt marketing tactics that build brands by entering through the back door. Horlicks, in this case is championing the cause of nutrition.

 

You may be aware that undernutrition mostly creeps into the resource poor households. We fear that this campaign will influence families and children from these families to buy Horlicks assuming it is a good nutritious product as you are behind it. Horlicks is expensive, may displace real family foods. Thus, your association with Horlicks is unlikely to achieve the objective of curbing undernutrition in India.

In the year 2014 you had renounced your association with Pepsi based on health implications on children. Association with ‘ Horlicks’  is equally harmful to children

 

We also believe such an association will negatively impact your image. of socially concerned artiste.therefore we request you to call off the association with Horlicks immediately in ; public interest’.

 

By

 

Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest – India (NAPi)

 

A national think tank on nutrition –consisting of independent experts in epidemiology, human nutrition, community nutrition and pediatrics, medical education, administration and management; having decades of experience in respective fields; has come together to advocate on nutrition policy in public interest.

http://napiindia.in/

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Major Gogoi and the Continuing Culture of Impunity  

 

 

People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), a civil liberties organisation, has issued a statement on the incident where Major Gogoi of 56 Rastriya Rifles had allegedly tried to get sexual favors from a young Kashmiri girl. Reacting to the claim of the Jammu and Kashmir police – that the case was related to two “consenting” adults – it said: “PUDR draws attention to the facts of the case which suggest it to be one of abuse of power by an army man in a “disturbed area”. 

Earlier, on May 23, Jammu and Kashmir police got a call from a local hotel alleging that a man has been involved in altercations with the hotel staff. When the police reached the spot, it was found out that Major Gogoi was reportedly trying to enter the hotel with a young girl who was a Budgam resident. The hotel administration claimed to have objected to it, as they argued that their policy does not allow locals to stay in the hotel. Following this intervention, Gogoi had an altercation with the hotel employee. It is reported that the Major had booked a room for two guests and had checked into the hotel.

This incident drew flak instantly because Major Gogoi is the same Army personnel, who had infamously tied a civilian named Farooq Dar to the bonnet of an army jeep in the valley. This inhumane act that took place on April 9, 2017 had become quite a controversy. But, the Army had claimed that it was done with an intent to escape stone-pelters during the bypolls. To the surprise of many, the army not only saved the Major, but General Bipin Rawat issued a commendation card to the Major, applauding him.

After the Jammu and Kashmir police filed a status report in the alleged harassment case in front of chief judicial magistrate of Srinagar on May 30, PUDR has issued their statement on June 3. In the report, the police has argued that the girl, who is seen here as a victim is a 19 year old adult, and this is a case of consenting adults, they also claim that neither she nor the hotel where they were to stay has filed any complaint in the matter. Hence, they have said that Gogoi won’t be booked under any case. On the other hand, PUDR argues, “The police’s emphasis on the absence of complaint as evidence of consent, is questionable as it fails to address the fears that civilian have of men in uniform in a conflict area where, under the AFSPA, the military enjoys enhanced powers and immunity. The circumstances of this present case as reported in the press, illustrate this impunity.”

As pointed out in the statement, it has been reported in the media that Major Gogoi had allegedly barged into the house of the girl twice before the incident. Talking to the reporters, the girl’s mother had claimed, “I fainted when Army Major Leetul Gogoi barged into our house one night and started enquiring about our well-being. He was accompanied by another man, and both were in civilian clothes. Later, I came to know that the man accompanying Gogoi was Sameer Mala from Lokipora Poshkar.”

It is also reported that Gogoi was talking to the girl from a fake Facebook account, which interestingly had a Muslim name. Though the family has not filed any complaint, but PUDR has alleged that this might as well be because they are scared of the consequences.

Their statement further says that this is not the first time that an Army personnel has been found guilty of “sexual malpractices, aided by their positions of power.” It says, “While custodial rape and human trafficking are one end of the spectrum, it needs to be remembered that the power of the uniform make refusal impossible, all the more so if the woman is a local person, and in a war zone. In this context it is important to note the CBI’s verdict given on May 30, 2018 regarding the infamous May 2006 Sex Scam case which exposed the widespread sexual exploitation by powerful persons in J&K including senior officers engaged in counter-insurgency operations.”

Human rights activist and a member of PUDR Gautam Navlakha said, “We should understand that in the conflict zone such as Kashmir, the power structures are such that victim would not come out and speak against an army officer; especially, when the girl is coming from such a modest background. When the army officer is using a fake ID on Facebook, and is intimidating the girl’s family, how can we say that there is no foul play involved in the case?

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Haryana – 5-Year-Old Girl’s Body Found In Drain, With Throat Slit #WTFnews

The father of the five-year-old girl, a resident of a village in Haryana’s Yamunanagar, had sent her home to get an umbrella. She never returned after that

Haryana Yamunanagar rape: Four people have been detained, the police said

YAMUNANAGAR (HARYANA): 

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. She was helping her father, a watchman, catch fish at a river nearby
  2. The girl went home to get an umbrella since it was a hot day
  3. She never came back to the river or her house

The body of a five-year-old girl with injuries in her throat was found in a drain at a village in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district on Sunday, the police said, adding she may have been raped before she was murdered.

Her neck also had strangulation marks, the police said. Four people have been detained at Khizrabad village, 220 kilometres from Gurgaon, and they are being interrogated. “There are injuries on her body, so we feel it is a case of sexual assault. We’re taking the matter seriously. Investigation is underway,” said Rajesh Kalia, senior police officer of Yamunanagar.

She was helping her father, a watchman, catch fish at a river nearby on Sunday. Her father said he told her to get an umbrella from their house as the day was quite hot and they wanted some shade.

Though the girl reached her house safely and then walked back holding the umbrella, she never reached her father by the river or returned home, the police said.

After some time when she didn’t turn up, her father informed some villagers and they fanned out across the village searching for her. They went to the police later in the evening when they couldn’t find the girl.

After an overnight search, the body of the little girl was found in a drain near her house today.

Just last week, a four-year-old girl in Haryana’s Faridabad district was also raped and stabbed to death allegedly by a man who used to work at her father’s sweet shop. Her body was found stuffed inside a container at the home of the alleged killer.  A medical test has confirmed rape. The 24-year-old accused has been arrested and questioned by the police.

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Church of England’s app to end car wash ‘slavery’ #Racism

Modern times: The clergy have been asked to raise awareness of the app and campaign against slavery.Modern times: The clergy have been asked to raise awareness of the app and campaign against slavery.   | Photo Credit: PongMoji

British drivers were urged by churches across the country on Sunday to look closely when they take their car to be hand washed and use a new, free mobile-phone app if they fear workers are being treated like slaves.

The campaign “Safe Car Wash App” was launched by the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales amid growing concerns that some of the estimated 18,000 hand car washes operating around the country are exploiting workers.

The app lets drivers punch in their location when arriving at a car wash then flick through a series of slavery indicators such as whether the car wash only accepts cash, evidence of workers living on site or whether the workers seem fearful.

If the answers indicate a high likelihood of slavery, users will be directed to a modern slavery helpline. “Over the last few years we have learnt more about the evil of modern slavery and we have begun to understand how it is perpetrated in our communities in plain sight,” the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said in a statement.

“Through the Safe Car Wash App we now have a chance to help tackle this scourge which is damaging so many people’s lives.”

In Sunday sermons and church schools, clergy were asked to raise awareness of the app and campaign against slavery.

The technology is part of a wider national information-gathering campaign launched by the Church of England and the Catholic Church and backed by anti-slavery campaigners.

At least 13,000 people in Britain are estimated by the government to be victims of modern slavery – but police say the true figure is far more likely to be in the tens of thousands. While forced labour is rife among Britain’s building sites, nail bars, factories and farms, car wash slavery has grown over the past decade.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/church-of-englands-app-to-end-car-wash-slavery/article24073682.ece

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In Jharia’s Coalfields, Residents Live Under A Constant Fear Of Subsidence, With Little Promise Of Rehabilitation

By SAGAR | 

On a drizzling afternoon in August last year, Raju Bhuyan, a 42-year-old resident of Mohari Baandhin Jharkhand’s Jharia town, was roaming the streets of the colony. His attention was suddenly drawn to the wall of a nearby house, on which cracks began to appear. Just as he turned his eyes away from the wall, Bhuyan recalled, a deafening thud reverberated in the neighbourhood. He realised then it was a bhudhasaan—subsidence—and he ran home to save his family. But “because there was no electricity, my wife and kids were already outside,” Bhuyan told me. “Tada-tad ghargirnelage. Sab apnagharchodkarbhagnelage” (One after the other, the houses began to fall. Everyone began to flee their homes.)

Subsidence—the collapse of the surface land—is common in Jharia’s coalfields, owing to the underground mining in the area. When I met Bhuyan, in early November, we stood on the cratered ground of the Mohari Baandh, surrounded by the rubble of homes destroyed during the subsidence he had described. According to Bisnu Bhuyan, another resident of the colony, around 10–12 houses had completely sunk into the ground, and an additional 100—150 houses had been damaged. Despite the damage to their homes, both Raju and Bisnu, like several other residents, continued to live in Mohari Baandh—under tents made of black plastic sheets, which they had pitched beside the road bypassing the colony—because they had not been provided any rehabilitation yet.

Mohari Baandh is a predominantly Dalit colony located on the edge of the Kujama coal mine, where most of the colony’s residents are employed as labourers. The colony is made up primarily of three rows of houses that were distinguishable by the extent to which they had been affected by the surface subsidence. The houses in the first row, which stood beside the main road—the furthest from the mine—showed slight cracks but still had occupants residing in them. The second row, situated further into the colony, was marked by houses with large craters that had debris of bricks in them. The third row, which was closest to the Kujuma mine, comprised abandoned houses , while the surface of a few among them continuously released thick, billowing smoke.

The Kujama mine, as per the Dhanbad administration website, is one of 88 coal mines in the districtthat are operated by the public-sector undertaking Bharat Coking Coal Limited—though the BCCL’s annual report for 2016–17  indicates that the company operates only 43 mines, including 14 underground, 22 open cast and 7 mixed mines. The BCCL is a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, the state-owned enterprise that dominates coal production in India. Its annual report notes that the company produced 27 million tonnes of coal that year.

(Sagar for The Caravan)

Over 90 percent of the BCCL’s coal production comes from the Jharia coalfield—India’s largest coalfield, which spans over 273 square kilometres and contains a coal reserve of 11,000 million tonnes. With over a century-long history of mining, Jharia’s surface is filled with cracks and pits that continuously released thick smoke of sulfurous gases and fire. In 2008, the BCCL released a master plan on dealing with the fire and subsidence hazards of the mining areas, in which it proposed the resettlement and rehabilitation of its residents within 12 years. The master plan was a revised and updated version of an earlier plan released in 1999, and in August 2009, the central government approved the plan.

With only three years remaining until the deadline, and the BCCL and state government making minimal progress in the rehabilitation of the affected residents, it appears highly unlikely that the process will be completed within the stipulated time. In March 2016, Piyush Goyal, who was then the minister of state for coal in the union ministry, stated in the Lok Sabha that among the 79,159 families eligible for resettlement, only 4,049 families—approximately five percent—had been shifted out of their houses. Amid this lack of momentum, the residents of Jharia have continued to suffer—due to the effect on their health due to their proximity to the coal mines, the fatal accidents that occur in the fire hazards and subsidence in the area, and the lack of institutional support for compensation and rehabilitation.

The first reported incident of a fire breaking out in the Jharia coalfields occurred in 1916, in the region’s Bhowrah colliery. The first institutional articulation of the safety concerns due to subsidence and fire hazards in Jharia’s coalfields was presented in 1979, by a committee that the central government had constituted three years earlier. According to the BCCL’s master plan, the committee found that “there are many towns, villages, rivers, jores, roads, railway line etc., in Jharia Coalfield which are standing over small pillars/stooks reported to be water logged.” It further noted, “If, by any chance, this water drains away it may cause subsidence. In addition, fire is also active in some areas, causing danger to the surface structure.”

In 1996, the central government introduced the first institutional mechanism to review these fire and subsidence concerns by setting up a “high power committee”, which included members from the coal and labour ministries, the Director General of Mines Safety, and managing directors from CIL and its subsidiaries. Three years later, the committee prepared the first master plan on dealing with fire, subsidence and rehabilitation. However, the focus of the 1999 master plan was on dealing with fire hazards. After the intervention of the Supreme Court, the BCCL proposed a revised master plan in 2008, which introduced a focus on the evacuation of the affected areas and rehabilitation of its residents.

In its 2008 master plan, the BCCL identified 595 sites within the mining sites it operates in Jharkhand’s Jharia and West Bengal’s Raniganj coalfields, comprising 98,314 houses, for evacuation. Of these, 44,155 houses belonged to BCCL workers—but noting that the “manpower in BCCL is continuously reducing,” the master plan reduced the number of the company’s workers entitled to rehabilitation to 25,000. As a result, a total of 79,159 houses are proposed to be resettled under the plan, including 53,291 houses belonging to non-BCCL workers, and 868 non-BCCL buildings, such as religious places, schools and police stations.

The central government approved the plan with an estimated investment of Rs 7,112 crore for the Jharia coalfield. The plan splits the onus of its implementation between the BCCL, which is responsible for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the company’s workers, and the Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority, or JRDA—a state-government agency responsible for the rehabilitation of the non-BCCL residents of the affected areas.

The master plan’s 12-year time period included a two-year period for the pre-implementation activities, such as carrying out a demographic survey and determining the estimate of funds required for the rehabilitation. But according to the minutes of an October 2017 board meeting of the JRDA, the agency is yet to complete the demographic survey. In fact, the minutes note that the JRDA was supposed to finish the survey of around 23,847 unauthorised houses in the region, but “during the survey, the number was found to have increased to around 91,000.”

In the JRDA board meeting, the members, who included district and BCCL officials, discussed the subsidence that occurred at Mohari Baandh colony in August that year. According to the minutes of the meeting, the board had directed the sub-divisional officer and district magistrate of Dhanbad to obtain a list of affected families from the BCCL management. The minutes note that although around 200 families were affected by the subsidence, the BCCL provided a list of only 107 families—of which, only 25 were provided houses on a contingency basis.

The minutes note that the board used a cut-off date of 2009 to determine the eligibility of the affected families for the rehabilitation plan—effectively excluding 175 families, or over 90 percent of the Mohari Baandh families affected by the subsidence. Prajapati Paswan, a 40-year-old activist from Jharia, told me that even the 25 families who were given temporary shelter in the BCCL quarters “were soon driven out” and had to return to the colony.

In Jharia’s coalfields, barely any rehabilitation had taken place, and the residents of the area appeared to casually continue their daily lives, even as thick smoke and small fires marked the landscape, and the threat of another subsidence loomed large. My conversations with the residents indicated that the fires and subsidence in the area was a reality that they had accepted. “Yeh aagzameenkeandarhameshasulagtarehta hai”—A fire is always smouldering below the surface, Parja Paswan, a 40-year-old resident and a local activist, told me. Paswan added that around 9–10 such colonies surrounding different collieries in Dhanbad had “disappeared into the ground during my life time.”

(Sagar for The Caravan)

In May last year, at Jharia’s Indira Chowk, a father and his son died after the land near their shop subsided.  Bablu Ansari, who worked as a mechanic, was opening his shop, when the road besides the shop collapsed inwards. While Bablu was trying to save Rahim, his 12-year-old son, they both got buried in the subsided land. Paswan told me, “Yeh ghatnakabhibhi ghat sakta hai, jistarahbaap-beta zameenkeandarchalagaya.” (These incidents can occur at any point, the manner in which the father and son were swallowed into the ground.)

I met Bablu’s brother, Munna, who was still staying at the same house where Bablu had lived, barely 15 feet away from the site where the subsidence had occurred. At the house, Noorjahan, Munna’s grandmother, told me that their bodies were never recovered. Munna said that after the incident, the district administration relocated the family of six, including three children, to an abandoned government school located around seven kilometres away. “There was no facility there,” Munna told me, referring to the lack of clean water supply and shelter at the abandoned school. He added that the family stayed there for four months, but “finally decided to leave when my baby fell sick due to the rain.”

According to the coal ministry’s annual report of 2017–18, the BCCL reported 27 serious accidents and 15 fatal accidents from 2015 to 2017. But local activists told me this data does not include the accidents that occurred around the mining areas and resulted in the deaths of the non-BCCL employees, nor the damage to their houses. According to Suresh Gupta, a trade-union leader of mining workers in the area and a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), only a few accidents in the mines are reported to the BCCL. He added, “Contractors engaged by the BCCL bury any news of accidents to avoid paying compensation. The actual number of accidents could be very high in as well as outside the coal mines.”

But the Jharia master plan does not prescribe any institutional arrangement to compensate residents whose kin have died due to the fires or subsidence. It only allots the procedure for rehabilitation and resettlement, and in case no alternate house is provided, for the compensation to rebuild a house on an allotted plot of land. In July last year, in response to a question in the Lok Sabha about the expenditure incurred by CIL and its subsidiary companies on compensation, Goyal submitted that the BCCL’s expenditure was “Nil” for the period from 2014 till July 2017.

Munna told me that he had received Rs 2 lakh from the state government, but Harekrishna, a 45-year-old resident of the Mohari Baandh colony, said his neighbor, Rampravesh, had lost his mother during the August subsidence but the family had not received any compensation. Harekrishna added that Rampravesh’s family had left the village after the incident. According to Paswan, the government “selectively releases such payments” depending on the attention an incident receives from the local media or activists.

In addition to the prevailing fear of fire hazards and subsidence in the area, several residents also complained about the ill effects that Jharia’s coalfields appearing to be having on their health, including multiple complaints of a difficulty in breathing. Noorjahan, the resident of Indira Chowk, told me, “Hamra saans ki bimari hai, saansfulta hai”—I have a breathing problem, my breathing gets heavy.

In December 2015, four environmentalists working with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, a national research and development organisation, conducted a study on the health of people living near the Jharia coalfields. The study found that nearly all the residents suffered from several diseases, including joint discomfort, eye irritation, general weakness, dizziness, and bronchitis.

In his March 2016 submission before the Lok Sabha, Goyal had also stated that the BCCL had again reduced the number of houses it had to construct for resettlement to 15,852 “due to retirement of BCCL employees.” He noted that as of then, only 2,612, or 16 percent, of the BCCL workers had been resettled, whereas only 1,437, or three percent, of the non-BCCL residents of the affected areas had been shifted out. Moreover, according to Goyal, the number of non-BCCL families had “increased to around 1,20,000 nos. as per the recent demographic surveys done by the JRDA.”

Goyal added, “The delay is mainly due to non-acquisition / non- availability of suitable land outside of coal bearing area for rehabilitation purpose.” It is evident that the state government has not only failed in its obligation to resettle the affected residents, but it also does not appear to have any strategy for the residents who settled in Jharia after 2009. In fact, the financing of the rehabilitation process, too, appears woefully inadequate.

For financing the rehabilitation, Goyal’s statement to the Lok Sabha noted, the CIL is required to contribute Rs 350 crore per annum from its internal resources and the balance from the accruals of stowing excise duty under the Coal Mines Act, 1974. It further stated that, as on 3 March 2016, the CIL had released only Rs 810 crore for its implementation. It is relevant to note that according to the BCCL’s annual report of 2016–17, the company made a net profit of Rs 763 crore during the financial year 2014–15, and Rs 768 crore in 2015-16. In November last year, I emailed officials of the CIL, BCCL and JRDA regarding the compensation released and the pace of the rehabilitation process. At the time this story was published, I had not received a response from any of them.

The minutes of JRDA’s 2016 annual meeting further show that the implementing agency for the Jharia master plan was not ready to commit to pay for the electricity and other public amenities at Belgoria, a newly-built township where the affected residents were proposed to be resettled. The minutes noted, “The running cost of all the facilities i.e. water supply, power supply, schools, dispensary, etc shall not be the part of compensation package and will have to be looked after to the panchayat and other bodies of the state government.” At the time, the township owed Rs 66 lakh to the Jharkhand Electricity Corporation Limited, and the JRDA had decided it would make a one-time payment of the pending amount, after which it would stop paying for its electricity.

The subsidence in Jharia’s coalfields, however, does not appear to be showing any signs of stopping. Paswan told me, “Yahan toh hamesha bhudasaan hotey rehta hai, magar loot ki chhoot hai”—Subsidence is always taking place, but there is a freedom to loot.http://www.caravanmagazine.in/vantage/jharia-coalfields-residents-fear-subsidence-little-promise-rehabilitation

 

 

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India – Government Staff Nurses’ strike in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh Staff nurses from the government hospitals had been on strike since 18 May. They were arrested under ESMA and allegedly detained under inhumane conditions for 36 hours in Raipur Central jail. The civil society groups here are planning to file a complaint in NHRC regarding the same.  They had to end the strike and were released even without any concrete promises. The mitanins in the state too have been on strike for months and the negotiating process is being considered

 

The decision to go on strike and the demands

The staff nurses across government hospitals in Chhattisgarh under the banner of Chhattisgarh ParicharikaKarmachariKalyanSangh (CPKKS), an association of nurses had been on strike since 18 May 2018.

The six point demands had been pending for three years. This included giving the staff nurses the grade 2 category and seventh pay commission on Rs. 4600 pay grade. The union’s chairperson said that the government had not been paying attention to their demands for years which made them to go on an indefinite strike. Other demands included equal pay for equal work, increase in nursing allowance and other incentives, nursing quartersshould be close to the hospital, filling the shortfalls of nursing staff etc. The regional chairperson of CPKKS said to media that in other states staff nurses get the pay grade of Rs. 4600 while in Chhattisgarh they get the pay grade of Rs 2800. The strike meant that 3000 nurses across the state would be on strike which would affect hospital services.

The Director, Health Services (DHS)issued a notice saying that if during the strike period any death happens, then action will be taken against nurses and that the strike period would not be seen as leave but be considered as ‘break in service’.

The strike was supported by Congress, Aam Admi Party and other opposition parties. The Chhattisgarh wing of Indian Medical Association (IMA) also supported the strike and wore black bands on 24 May 2018 to support the strike. Later the Chhattisgarh third grade class workers union and the BSNL workers union also supported.

Newspapers reported that the Raipur medical college (along with other medical colleges) and district hospital were the most affected by the strike while the hospitals in other districts were not as affected as the nurses have not been participating in the strike. Hospitals were taking the help of interns in providing emergency services. Newspapers reported that the Nursing Council wrote a letter to Directorate Medical Education (DME) that in the case of nursing strike, it was not correct to take services from the interns for emergency services.

Arrests and the poor conditions of detention

On 29thMay 2018 Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1979 (ESMA) was invoked by the Chhattisgarh Home Department saying the strike was unconstitutional. The nurses refused to end the strike.The talks between the DHS and Nurses on 31 May 2018 union failed and FIR was lodged against the striking nurses in Azad Chowk Thana subsequently.

On 1 June 2018, Raipur Additional Superintendent of Police Vijay Agrawal told PTIthat as many as 607 nurses were arrested as they continued their strike even after the ESMA was invoked by the government. The nurses were sent to Raipur central jail, he said[1].

The police raided the hotels where the nurses were staying early in the morning or the while they were on their way to the dharna venue. The Principal Secretary GAD, Richa Sharma, told media that before the arrests they had tried six time to resolve the matter but failed.

227 nurses were put in jail. Rest of them continued undeterred demanding the release of their union leaders and slept at the jail campus, some with their children.They were kept in jail for 36 hours.

A CPKKS member when talking to media accused the government of suppressing a peaceful protest using the police. She said that “Some of the nurses who were arrested today are pregnant and yet they have not been released”.It was reported that nurses found a police officer making a video of them when they were using the toilet during detention. One of the nurses clicked the picture of the police staff making a video[2].

Another newspaper talked of the human rights violations of Nurses happened while in jail. The complaints were that since the arrest in the morning till the evening no food had been provided to the nurses. In the jail ten nurses went on a hunger strike. One of the nurse fainted in the jail. After being released the nurses complained that they were harassed inside the jail and women were not allowed to feed their children. The nurses protesting outside continued the protest despite the rains. In the jail, there was no arrangement of toilets. The husbands of the nurses protesting outside were also sent inside the jail.

The nurses accused that the jail was providing them with the same food meal both times in the mornings as well as in the evenings and the food was being thrown at them. They were told to drink the water that was being used in the toilets. Moreover,they reported that the jail guards misbehaved. They further accused that the jail authorities did not allow the nurses to breastfeed their young children.

It was later reported that the jail administration will make an inquiry into the alleged misbehaviour with the nurses in the jail[3].

Meanwhile it was reported that the Principal Secretary GAD had requested the nurses to come back on strike appealing that “serving the patients is good work”. She also said that the government has been considering the ‘rational’ demands of the nurses and has made a committee to look into the demands.DHSRanuSahu said that “the nurses will be released if they agree to come back on work”.

On 2nd June the nurses called off the strike. It was learnt that after talks with health secretary the union decided to call off strike. They were told that a committee will be formed to look into their demands. However, the CPKKS said that they had been mentally harassed to call off the strike and a lot of political pressure was put on them as a result of which they had to call off the strike without any of their demands being met[4].

 

Sources:

Nurses ke hadtaal ke chhathvein din IMA ne kiya samarthan. 24 May 2018. Patrika.

Nurse aaj se hadtaal par, swaasthya sewaayein hongi prabhaavit. 18 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Narson kee Pradesh hadtaal aaj se. 18 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Nurses kee hadtaal paanchve din bhee jaari raha. 23 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Pradesh bhar mei narson kee bemiyaadi hadtaa laaj se.18 May 2018. Patrika.

Pehle din prashikshuon ke sahare chalu rahi emergency sewaayein, dharnasthal par narson ne dikhaayitaakat. 19 May 2018. Patrika.

Narsonkehartaal se swaasthyavyavasthabepatri. 19 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

36 ghante baad jab central jail se chhooti nurses toh apnon se lipat kar ro padhi. 3 June 2018. NaiDuniya

Prashikshuon se kaarya lene ko bataay agalat. 25 May 2018. Patrika.

Doctors ne kaali patti lagakar kee duty. 25 May 2018. Patrika.

Dharna stahl pahuchne se pehle narson kee giraftaari. 2 June 2018. NaiDuniya.

Nau sootreey maangon ko le kar dharna. 2 June 2018. Patrika.

Nurses giraftaar, jail ke baahar soyi. 2 June 2018. NaiDuniya.

ESMA ke tahat 883 nurses giraftaar, kendriya jail mei saikdon bhook hadtaal par. 2 June 2018. Patrika.

Nurses kee hadtaal avaidh, raajya sarkaar ne lagaaya ESMA. 30 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

ESMA ke baad bhi hadtaal par adig hai nurse, swaasthya vibhaag ne karvaayi FIR, aaj giraftaari. 1 June 2018. NaiDuniya.

ESMA ka nurses ke hadtaal par nahi hua koi asa. 31 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Hadtaali nurses par raajya sarkaar ne lagaaya ESMA. 30 May 2018. Patrika.

Doctors ne kiya nurses ke hadtaal kaa samarthan. 25 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Nurses ke hadtaal ka aasar, paanch dinon mei das operation bhi nahi. 23 May 2018. Patrika.

Khuli Jail kenaam par narson ko amaanveey sthiti meira khagaya. 2ndJune 2018. Navbharat.

Subah 6 baje ke injection ke baad nahi mili dawaayein. 20 May 2018. 2018. .

Hadtaal: Routine operation keetaareekhbadhi. 20 May 2018. NaiDuniya.

Maangon ke liye narson wa mitaaninon ne dikhaay itaakat. 22 May 2018. Patrika

Lagataar chauthen din jaari rahi narses ke hadtaal. 22 May 2018.  NaiDuniya.

 

Jan Swasthya Abhiyan Chhattisgarh

(People’s Health Movement-India)

http://www.phmovement.org/india

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India – For Ankit Saxena’s Kin, Iftar Transcends Religious Boundaries

It was a Sunday evening, and yet the air outside Ankit Saxena’s house was buzzing with energy.

It has been over four months since Ankit was brutally murdered by his girlfriend’s family, but that has not dimmed his family’s spirit. If anything, Ankit’s kin have risen from the tragedy to promote a message of communal harmony and peace, challenging the ideology that led to his death — it was reported at the time that Ankit was murdered because his Muslim girlfriend’s family opposed their relationship because of religion.

As part of their efforts, the Saxena family organised an Iftar on 3 June 2018 in Ankit’s memory.

The entire neighborhood descended on the Saxena doorstep to help out, with glasses of Rooh Afza and chilled water being passed around; and coolers fixed inside the houses brought outside to beat the hot Delhi air that clung heavy.

Plenty of fruits 
Plenty of fruits 
(Photo: Malavika Balasubramanian/The Quint)

Also Read: Ankit Saxena’s Father Is Hosting an Iftar Party & You’re Invited!

A neighbour approached me with a glass of water as I entered the lane, where carpets were laid out in preparation. Sitting down next to me, she said:

We are Muslims, and Ankit was like our son. We never differentiated between him and our own children.
Saxena family’s neighbour

Amidst the lively preparations, Ankit’s loss could be felt clearly. Ashish Duggal, Ankit’s cousin, who was busy supervising the arrangements, said, “The entire idea to organise an iftar came from our friend Azhar. But if Ankit were here, it would have been completely different. Our aim is to spread the message of peace and communal harmony.”

This is hardly the first time that Ankit’s friends have organised an Iftar.

Ankit’s friend and namesake – Ankit – says:

We would always celebrate Eid at Azhar’s place. But this time around, we had a reason to come together and organise it on a larger scale.
Ankit’s friend

Come One, Come All

And come together they did. Apart from Ankit’s family and friends, several other well-wishers and good Samaritans too attended the event.

Masoom Nabi was one such person. Nabi had heard of the event via an earlier article published on The Quint, and had arrived to offer his support.

I read about the iftar on The Quint, and accessed Ashish’s number through a poster. This is a really nice initiative by Ankit’s family.
A poster of the Ankit Saxena Trust
A poster of the Ankit Saxena Trust
(Photo: Malavika Balasubramanian/The Quint)

The Iftar was organised under a trust set up by Ankit’s father — The Ankit Saxena Trust. The trust aims to promote communal peace, and the Iftar helped kick-off its work.

“The trust aims to remove traces of communal violence and disruption. And like today’s Iftar, we will continue holding community celebrations for all festivals — be Diwali, Christmas or any other,” says Ashish.

Like Nabi, there were several others who extended their support to the family. Tani Bhargahav from the IC Foundation first met Ankit’s father, Yashpal Saxena, when he was grieving the loss of his son. “I read about the Ankit’s murder in a newspaper and have been associated ever since. What the family is doing is exceptional and quite marvellous” she says.

Malathi, another social worker, too learnt of the event through a news article.

My niece sent me an article about today’s event, and I thought I should come forward to extend my support.
Malathi, social worker

By 6:45 pm, the lane outside Ankit’s house was bursting to its seams, as media persons and attendees gathered. Bowls of fruit and packets of biryani were passed around, as those observing a fast prepared for their meal.

The Iftar party in full swing!
The Iftar party in full swing!
(Photo: Malavika Balasubramanian/The Quint)

At 7:17 pm, fasts broken with a prayer to Allah, and people from all faiths dug into their meals.

Among the attendees was Dr Kafeel Khan, the doctor accused of the Gorakhpur deaths. Speaking to The Quint, he said:

Despite everything that Yashpal ji has gone through, he has sent a very powerful message by organising this Iftar. I have only come to show my support.
Ankit’s father, Yashpal, at the Iftar along with Dr Kafeel Khan. 
Ankit’s father, Yashpal, at the Iftar along with Dr Kafeel Khan. 
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@drkafeelkhan
Ankit’s father, Yashpal, at the Iftar. 
Ankit’s father, Yashpal, at the Iftar. 
(Photo: Malavika Balasubramanian/The Quint)

As for Yashpal Saxena himself, it was a constant struggle between news channels. But on one thing he remained firm:

All I ask for is peace among communities. Let’s move beyond violence and hatred, and instead strive for peace.
Several media houses descended upon the venue to witness and take part in the iftar party.
Several media houses descended upon the venue to witness and take part in the iftar party.
(Photo: Malavika Balasubramanian/The Quint)

To sum up Sunday evening in Dr Kafeel Khan’s words, “Like they say, I’m neither a Muslim, not a Hindu. I was born human, and human I shall remain.”

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India – Dowry harassment, five months pregnant victim tied to pole in backyard #Vaw

A dowry harassment case was reported in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The victim was found tied in the backyard of her in-laws factory also, she was five months pregnant. The victim was in state of shock and terror and was admitted to a district hospital.

Dowry harassment is a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence, which provides immediate arrest of the accused.

Dowry harassment is a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence, which provides immediate arrest of the accused:/representative image |Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Noida: A shocking incident of dowry harassment was reported in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. The victim was found tied in the backyard of her in-laws factory also, she was five months pregnant. On June 1, the victim’s family member filed a missing complaint at the Noida Sector-39 police station. After continuous investigation for 48 hours later, she was rescued from the factory’s backyard.
The victim was identified as Shweta who married Gaurav- the accused in year 2017. Exclusive visuals were given by the Noida police rescue team, in which the victim is seen tied to a pole in her in-laws’ factory backyard. Her husband is not traceable and the family had been taken in the custody. The victim was in state of shock and terror and was admitted to a district hospital.
The Indian criminal laws had been comprehensively amended to include dowry as a strict punishable offence. Dowry harassment is a non-bailable and non-compoundable offence, which provides immediate arrest of the accused. The husband or his family member are presumed to be guilty till they prove their innocence in the court. The guilty is punishable with a jail term of about three years. A Section 304(B) was added to the Indian Penal Code which states if the victim dies due to dowry harassment, the minimum sentence for the accused would be seven years and a maximum of life time imprisonment.
http://www.timesnownews.com/mirror-now/

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Ragging horror in Kolkata: Student stripped, paraded naked

Posted By: Madhuri Adnal

    In a shocking case of ragging in Kolkata, a student of St. Paul Cathedral Mission College, Kolkata on Sunday complained at Amherst Street Police station that he was ragged by some senior students inside the union room of the college. The incident occurred on May 17.

    Ragging horror in Kolkata: Student stripped, paraded naked

    The student also claimed he was paraded naked. He was also threatened that the video would be circulated through social networking sites if he narrated the incident to anybody.

    On May 17, the victim, who is a first year student, enquired about the expenses of the event after which he was allegedly beaten up and stripped naked by the ex-students. They allegedly recorded the whole incident and spread the video. The victim can be seen crying and trying to hide.

    However, a complaint has yet to be registered even though the student attempted to end his life, but failed.

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