Friday June 22, 2018
Home India Modi Governme...

Modi Government Initiative: Devotees get Holy GangaJal delivered at their Doorstep by India Post

In the month of May of this year, in 2016, the arrangements to make this dream successful began and it turned out to be a big hit

0
//
700
Bottled Ganges water. Image Source : efe.com
Republish
Reprint
  • Indian Postal Service itself will now on deliver bottled Ganges water, which is considered to be holy by the Hindus, from door to door
  • The initiative taken by the Narendra Modi government proved to be a huge hit in West Bengal 
  • The first batch ran out within a couple of days and people seem ecstatic about the system

It was the Narendra Modi government in India, that dreamt of delivering bottled Ganges water to Indian doorsteps via postal service. In the month of May of this year, in 2016, the arrangements to make this dream successful has begun. Now, it is a reality. The Indian postal service will deliver bottled Ganges water to the ones who want to buy it. It will save the devotees, effort of going to specific places to get hold of pure/holy water ‘GangaJal’.

At the Postal Headquarters.
At the Postal Headquarters. Image Source : efe.com

In case of the Ganges water collected at Rishikesh, there are two kinds of bottles that are available in the market, one is 200ml at Rs. 15 and the other is 500ml for Rs. 22. The Gangajal acquired and bottled at Gangotri is costlier because the nearer to the original source the water is collected by a person, the purer it is believed to be. Therefore, the Gangotri water is available at Rs. 25 and Rs. 35 for 200ml and 500ml bottles, when one reaches closer to the source.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook: @NewsGram2

The initiative to deliver GangaJal by post was launched in West Bengal and it proved to be a huge hit. The water bottled from Rishikesh and Gangotri vanished from the shelves almost as fast as they reached the different postal headquarters across West Bengal. Kolkata, itself, witnessed the huge sale of the holy water. People are tired of dirty Gangajal and are buying the bottled GangaJal as fast as they can. “We have a surprising demand for bottled Gangajal from Rishikesh..we started selling it from Sunday and by Tuesday  the stock was totally sold out”, Chief Post Master General, West Bengal Circle, Arundhaty Ghosh told PTI.

It happened so because people are tired of polluted Gangajal and therefore they are buying the bottled GangaJal as much as they can. “We have a surprising demand for bottled Gangajal from Rishikesh..we started selling it from Sunday and by Tuesday  the stock was totally sold out”, Chief Post Master General, West Bengal Circle, added Arundhaty Ghosh.

Not only Kolkata but Siliguri too faced the same booming market for Gangajal. “We were sent five 200ml bottles of Gangajal collected at Rishikesh. They sold out instantly. People left the counter cursing us,” said Abhijit Sarkar, a Jalpaiguri head post office employee.

Image Source : nyooz.com
Image Source : nyooz.com

“We had been to Allahabad two years ago and brought back three pots of Gangajal from Triveni Sangam. It was difficult, but we had to do it for us and our relatives. We are happy that the government has made it easier for us to get Gangajal,” Sharmila Mukherjee, a school teacher, told TOI.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter : @NewsGram1

People were disappointed when the stock ran out and they were not informed when the next batch would arrive. “The supply was meager in Bengal. We got only 280 bottles of 500ml and 245 bottles of 200ml for the entire state,” said Swapan Garai, assistant director (business development), Department of Posts to TOI, who manages the distribution of Gangajal across Bengal. “We could give only 50 bottles to the Midnapore head post office against the demand of 500,” Garai further added.

– Prepared by NewsGram team.

ALSO READ :

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

0
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)