Thursday December 14, 2017
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IITians’ innovations changing futures in India

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New Delhi: IITians have always made their mark with their innovations, here are three devices developed by them that have brought about a change in the society.

Eco Frost: In a bid to curb wastage of agriculture yield in India, three IIT Kharagpur engineers developed a cold-storage powered by solar power and helped farmers to save their produce from getting rotten. The trio of  mechanical engineering students Vivek Pandey, Prateek Singhal and Devendra Gupta scripted history and brought in a major change with their  micro cold storage system which operates at near zero cost.

ecofrost_machineWith the growing demand of cold storages and only the big farmers having access to the available facilities, Eco-frost changed the fate of millions of farmers. Especially, designed for the rural segment, the innovation helped the farmers to store their harvest and get a good bargain. The solar-powered cold storage led to an increase of 40 per cent in the profits of the farmers.

The young achievers claimed that there is no running cost and works the year round on sustainable technology. Eco-Frost also boasts of a power backup of over 36 hours during inclement weather and has a capacity of five metric tons.

The idea was incubated in 2013, and the team plans to manufacture around 20,000 cold storages in the next five years. The price of one unit will be around Rs 5-6 lakhs.

Guardian:  A clear cut winning project, the safety device ‘Guardian’ addresses the problem of women security.  What made it stand apart was its provision to use any type of ericsson-innovation-awards-2015

communication systems like the internet, SMS, or Near Field Communication. Moreover, the device can be worn in the form of jewellery and is convenient to carry.

Developed by IIT Delhi students, Guardian alerts loved ones when a person is in distress.

Alcohol Sensing Helmet: Aiming to prevent drunken driving, IIT BHU students came up with the path-breaking innovation of arming helmets with a device that prevents a person from starting his/her bike if the alcohol content in the breath is more than the permissible limit.

helmet_1436796404The innovative helmet examines the alcohol content in the driver’s breath and sends signals via wireless technology to the vehicle to start or stop accordingly. The helmet uses Bluetooth encryption technology and also featured among the top 5 short-listed projects at the Ericsson Innovation Awards held at IIT Delhi.

 

(Picture Courtesy: tylersmassie.wordpress.com, www.social.yourstory.com)

 

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Bangalore girl gets her attackers behind bars

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Bangalore :  A girl in Bangalore was seriously injured after a man attacked her for turning down his proposal of marriage. In a bid to save her modesty, she fought Ravikumar who, along with two his accomplices, waylaid her while she was returning home.

She sustained severe injuries on her hands while trying to escape. Ravikumar sprayed chilli-powder and attacked with a machete.

She had to fight for 10 minutes before a crowd chased away the culprits. However, she made sure that the criminals landed behind bars.

Notably, Ravikumar worked as a tractor driver for the girl’s father. He was sacked a few months ago for misbehaving with her.
Photo Credit : bangloremirrior.com

“Even when I was being attacked, and blood was dripping from my fingers, I only wanted to ensure I did not let him go at any cost. I held on to him till a good number of people had gathered and caught him”

 

 

 

(Picture Courtesy: www.viresattached.com, www.bangaloremirrors.com)

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Government to install lights in all dark spots across the capital

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: In a bid to ensure women’s safety, the Delhi government has decided to install lights in all the dark spots across the city.

“The PWD (Public Works Department) has been asked to identify all dark spots in Delhi as soon as possible,” the Delhi government said.

According to non-government organisations, there are around 700 dark spots in the capital.

“Identification of spots where street lights are not present and places where they are installed but are not working has also been ordered,” the government statement added.

The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The PWD has also been asked to bring a proposal at the earliest to put up CCTV cameras all over the city.

(With inputs from IANS)

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The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

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By Shilpika Srivastava

In the light of continuously rising crime graph against women, government’s remark – ‘concept of marital rape cannot be applied in India as marriage is treated as a sacrament or sacred as per mindset of the Indian society’ – is not shocking.

Yes, it is not shocking! In India, where women are victimized at every step by local goons, eve teasers and even by family members, Minister of State for Home Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary’s comment does not come out as news to many Indian women.

His statement, “It is considered that the concept of marital rape, as understood internationally, cannot be suitably applied in the Indian context due to various factors, including level of education, illiteracy, poverty, myriad social customs and values, religious beliefs, mindset of the society to treat the marriage as a sacrament,” reveals the insensitivity of Indian government towards the mental and physical trauma that women go through by getting raped by their own husbands.

In January 2013, RSS Chief, Mohan Bhagwat, agitated women by saying, “A husband and a wife are bound by a contract which says – you (woman) look after the household chores and satisfy me, I (man) will take care of your needs and will protect you.”

In May 2014, a man accused of raping his wife flew free because a court of the national capital did not find the act to be within the ‘conforms of rape’. While acquitting the husband, additional sessions Judge Virender Bhat said, “The parties being husband and wife, the sexual intercourse between the two does not come within the ambit of the offence of rape, even if the same was against the will and consent of the victim.”

If such kinds of remarks come from the judiciary and government of India, is there a chance that women will find anything shocking?

Numbers don’t lie

Just a few months back, a research done by National Family Health Survey (NFHS) revealed that sexual violence is grossly under-reported in India. It revealed that husbands commit a majority of acts of sexual violence in India, and just 1% of marital rapes and 6% of rapes by men other than husbands are reported to the police.

A study, conducted by the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) and United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA), threw some insight on the violence against women. The survey showed men admitting to having forced a sexual act upon their wives/ partners at some point in their lives.

In the present day, studies indicate that between 10% and 14% of married women are raped by their husbands. The incidents of marital rape ascend to 1/3rd to 1/2 among clinical samples of battered women. Sexual assault by one’s spouse account for approximately 25% of rapes committed.

Need for criminalization?

Indian cinema that beautifully encapsulates the idea of the ‘sacrosanct’ institution of marriage, seems to be nonexistent and even contrary to the reality of Indian women’s experiences.

Being one of the most common and obnoxious forms of masochism in Indian society, marital rape harbors behind the rigid valance of marriage.

The irony is that despite innumerable amendments and law commissions, the most disgusting and humiliating act of marital rape is not considered as a crime in India. And, if somehow a woman is able to firmly stand against the injustice, the issue of penalty remains adrift in the darkness of legal skepticism. What she is left with, in the end, is to protect herself from her own partner and believe that the legislations are either unreal or vague.

Section 375, the provision of rape in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), gets life from age-old disbeliefs.  It mentions, “Sexual intercourse by  man with his own wife, the wife not being under 15 years of age, is not rape.” However, Section 376 of IPC does provide punishment for rape. But, the section mocks at the trauma of marital rape victims. It states, “The rapist should be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years but which may extend to life or for a term extending up to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife, and is not under 12 years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years with fine or with both.”

The social stigma

The first year of her marriage, was a dream-come-true for Arti (name changed). Yes, her husband had issues with controlling his anger, however, nothing seemed overtly outside the norm.

In the second year of marriage, Arti went through the worst violence she could ever imagine in her life. When she was not able to stand her husband’s continuous aggressive demands, the “wrapping up” was way more horrifying.

“Aarti was my younger sister. Her husband would thrash her, beat her and would ask her to ‘serve’ him every night. She told our parents that she wanted a divorce, but fearing societal humiliation, the parents forced her to stay in the marriage,” said Arti’s sister while speaking to NewsGram.

“I remember one day when she called me and cried her heart out. She said that her husband banged her down from the edge of the bed where they were sitting. He took her down to the floor, and forcefully had sex with her, even though she was yelling to get off and stop,” the sister shared.

“For her, it was easy to take her own life than to go through the horror every night,” her voice trembled as she spoke.

No doubt, there are so many Artis in India who are still living the horror, all thanks to the social dogma.

The biggest point is that it is the society that fails to understand that rape, in any form, is an act of complete humiliation, ignominy and disobedience rather than an archaic theory of penile/vaginal penetration.

An incomplete definition of rape asserts the notion that rapists consider rape as pure sex and not an act of violence.

The law abroad

Marital rape comes under the purview of offence and is completely illegal in the entire 50 states of the US. The criminalization of marital rape in the United States began in the mid-1970s. By 1993, marital rape became a crime in the entire country, under at least one section of the sexual offense codes.

In New Zealand, Section 128 to the Crimes Act, 1961, Sub-section (4) states, “A person can be convicted of sexual violence in respect of sexual connection with another person notwithstanding the marital status at the time of the  sexual assault. Further, the fact that the parties are married or have been in a continuing relationship will not warrant a reduction in sentence.”

Countries like Canada, France, Sweden, Israel, Norway, Soviet Union, Denmark, Poland and Czech Republic also see marital rape as an illegal act.

The answer is still unheard

Marriage does not function solely on sex. Our MPs need to understand that the sanctity of marriage is preserved by mutual understanding and respect. India not only needs a broader perception when it comes to women rights, but also needs a judicial awakening.

As the United Nations says,  “Educating boys and men to view women as valuable partners in life, in the development of society and the attainment of peace are just as important as taking legal steps to protect women’s human rights,”  men hold the social, economical and moral responsibilities to combat each form of gender discrimination.

For a country which thrives on deeply ingrained traditional and religious pigeonholes and witnesses repugnant forms of machismo, it is high time that the letter of law alters as soon as possible.