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Nairobi hospital in Kenya refuses to hand over Orphan’s Dead body due to Unpaid Bills

Mercilessness of a Hospital

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Nairobi, Sept 20, 2016: In a case of hospital cruelty, the body of a teenager who died of kidney failure was being held by a Nairobi hospital for seven months due to unpaid bills.
The Nairobi Women’s Hospital is holding the body of Beretta Reri, an orphan, until the family pays hospital bills amounting to about $25,000.
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Caren Achieng, Reri’s grandmother, says she has done all in her power to raise the money including begging but could not raise the amount.

Johnson Mwithi, Nairobi Women’s Hospital’s Chief Officer of Business Development, said the hospital reviews each of their debtors on their own merit and if the debtor is unable to pay, they classify it as bad debt and write it off, Daily Nation reported.

Mwithi said that in Reri’s case, the hospital has been “handling several stakeholders who have been exploring different ways of offsetting the bill and are not at that point of declaring this a bad debt”.

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Achieng took in the late teen in 2005, after her mother died of throat cancer and lives with her other daughter who has five children.
Reri died in February 2016 of kidney failure. (IANS)

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What Gives Husbands The Licence to Rape? Decoding Marital Rape in the Indian Legal Scenario

Can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman?

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Marital rape
While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India. Pixabay
  • Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence
  • Marital rape is yet to be categorized as a criminal offence in India
  • According to the central government, criminalizing marital rape “may destabilize the institution of marriage”

New Delhi, September 2, 2017 : Baby works as a domestic help; she says she cannot recall her age when her parents married her off to a man who was much older to her; a man she barely knew. She didn’t anticipate her husband would demand to have intercourse on their wedding night. She was still young and not ready, but that didn’t stop him. Baby was raped by her husband on her wedding night. But marital rape means nothing to her.

Sunita irons clothes for a living. She says has been married for more years than she can remember. The duo has four kids together, but that doesn’t stop her husband from raising a hand or two on her, every once in a while. Every night, her husband would get drunk, hit her and forcefully demand to have sex, paying no heed to her resistance. Sunita has three daughters, and a son, and the husband still wants to have progenies. “I told my mother that this man has raped me multiple times. She protested, arguing that he is ‘your husband’ after all,” she said.

But did she never decide to approach the authorities?

To this, Sunita promptly replied, “I once had a sore eye after he (the husband) hit me with his shoe when I refused to have sex. I went to the local hospital and then the police. I narrated the entire scene; they were very considerate, offered me water and then asked me to go home and ‘adjust’.”

Sunita is unaware of a term called ‘marital rape’.

This is the reality of a huge part of the society in real India.

Like Baby and Sunita, women who suffer such indignities are often asked to “adjust” with perpetrators of violence because of a deep –embedded fear of what the society would say. This notion of an ‘ideal woman’ impedes women to object to illicit treatment meted out by their ‘better halves’.

The debate around the issue has become ripe once again with the Central Government stating that what “may appear to be marital rape” to a wife “may not appear so to others”. In an affidavit to the Delhi High Court, the central government took a stand against criminalizing marital rape saying that it “may destabilize the institution of marriage” and also become easy tool for harass the husbands and the in-laws.

Rape v/s Marital Rape

Rape is defined in Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, but with an irregularity: “Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.”

While rape is addressed as perforation without a woman’s accord in its main clause, the only remedy to forced intercourse provided to ‘married’ woman is specified under Section 498-A of the IPC and the civil provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestiic Violence Act.

Following the horrific 2012 Nirbhaya rape case that brought the entire world to a standstill, the Indian media has given paramount coverage to instances of rape across the country. But even after 5 years of the gut-wrenching incident, there seems no end to this crime.

ALSO READ The Hardships of Sexuality: Marital rape, violence and humiliation

Cases of sexual violence, including rape, fall within the larger realm of domestic violence. However, rape by husbands within holy matrimony continues to remain an obscure subject in India and the exact number of cases is hard to gauge.

According to a 2015 report by National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) tracing the proximity of offenders to the victims of sexual violence, it was revealed that in 95 per cent of all rapes, the offenders were familiar to the survivors. These, presumably include acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues.

And what about rape committed by husbands?

These cases continue to be an under-reported crime in India. This can be attributed to two major reasons,

  • Because of the stigma associated with it
  • Because of the presence of a defunct justice system

Furthermore, more often than not, these cases go missing because of several additional (and unnecessary) barriers stemming from a combination of familial and/or social power structures, shame and dependency.

Marital Rape In India

While most of the developed world has penalized marital rape, surprisingly it is yet to be categorized as an offence in India.

A United Nations’ report titled ‘Why do some men use violence against women and how can we prevent it?’ published in 2013 disclosed that nearly a quarter of 10,000 men  in Asia-Pacific region, including India, admitted to have indulged in the rape of a female partner. The report traced their rationale to a deep-embedded belief that they are entitled to sex despite the consent of their partners.

The study also revealed that the majority of these instances were not reported and the perpetrators faced no legal consequences.

In 2014, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in association with International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) brought out a report titled ‘Masculinity, Intimate Partner Violence and Son Preference in India’. Among other things, the report analyzed the average Indian male’s understanding and interpretation of the idea of ‘masculinity’ and how that molds their interactions with women.

Not surprisingly, the study revealed that a typical man in the Indian society associated the attributes ‘tough’, and ‘controlling’ with masculinity.

Segments of the present day Indian society continue to look at men as tough forces, who can (must) freely exercise their privilege to establish rule in personal relationships and above all, continue to control women.

Additionally, the study also revealed that 60 per cent of the Indian men disclosed the use of physical violence to establish authority.

In India, stiff patriarchal norms continue to tilt the gender balance firmly in the favor of men, as a result of which, women are forced to internalize male dominance in their lives.

Marital Rape in India : A Legal Perspective

Section 375 essentially distinguishes between two categories of women

  • Married women
  • Unmarried women

Much to the Indian society’s disappointment, the Indian legal system denies protection from rape to the married woman. This creates discrimination as the women belonging to one section are denied justice merely by virtue of being married.

But can there be two different definitions of rape? Can there be a differentiation between the rape of a married woman and the rape of an unmarried woman? Is it justified to discriminate a woman just because she is married to the man who has raped her?

The Debate Around Marital Rape In India

Despite the piquant situation, the issue raised furor when Minister of State for Home, Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary told the Parliament that the question of criminalizing marital rape in India has no relevance “as marriage is treated as sacred here.”

Does marriage being a sacrament provide one with the legal right to rape a woman?

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly had retaliated saying that it is particularly concerning when a government that claims to secure the safety of women inside and outside national territory shamelessly turn to justify a crime in the name of culture and tradition.

Group director of social and economic development at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) Priya Nanda asserted in an interview with a leading portal that “the reason men don’t want to criminalize marital rape is because they don’t want to give a woman the power to say no.”

In 2013, a three-member commission headed by Justice J.S. Verma suggested remedial measures to combat sexual violence in India, following the 2012 Nirbhaya rape case. One of its recommendations was the criminalization of marital rape.

ALSO READ Reasons Why Marital Rape Should Be Recognised as a Criminal Offence

The recommendation was ignored by the government as a large amount of people questioned its efficiency saying if made a crime,

  • It might be misused by people
  • It will be difficult to prove
  • It might break up marriages

But, how fair is it to not have a law against marital rape, only because of the reason that it is ‘difficult to prove’?

In a broader understanding, it needs to be understood that the criminalization of marital rape must not be viewed as a step against men or the institution of matrimony, but as an attempt to demolish the patriarchal system that continues to clutch the Indian society.


 

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Gorakhpur Tragedy: Infant Deaths, Principal of Gorakhpur Medical College Rajeev Mishra Resigns

Death of 30 Infants, all that happened in Gorakhpur Tragedy

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Infant deaths in Gorakhpur Tragedy
Infant deaths in Gorakhpur Tragedy. Pixabay
  • Mishra was suspended due to his irresponsible act of allegedly delaying payment to the supplier of oxygen cylinders
  • The guilty will not be spared and the government would act cruelly
  • Adityanath also held a review meeting of healthcare

Lucknow, August 13, 2017: Gorakhpur Tragedy took many turns, the principal held responsible for the deaths due to lack of oxygen cylinders resigned, then Sidharth Nath Singh, Anupriya Patel, and Yogi Adityanath spoke on the serious issue and showed their concerns to the children’s families who suffered.

Dr. Rajeev Mishra, Principal, Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh who was suspended after the death of 30 infants (within a span of 48 hours) since August 10, resigned yesterday from the post.  The principal, Rajeev Mishra in his letter to the Director General of Medical Education and Training said that he has tendered his resignation from the post and takes the moral responsibility for the recent death of 30 children admitted to the hospital’s pediatric ward.

ALSO READ: Yogi Adityanath led UP Government to start booking Land Mafia under Gangster Act

UP Health Minister, Sidharth Nath Singh confirmed the resignation of Mishra from the post of the BRD medical college principal. According to PTI report, he said, “Yes, he has resigned. But no good, because we have already suspended him and initiated inquiry of his misdoings.” Sidharth Nath Singh and  UP Medical Education Minister Ashutosh Tandon said that Mishra was suspended due to his irresponsible act of allegedly delaying payment to the supplier of oxygen cylinders.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel said that the guilty will not be spared and the government would act cruelly and with a firm hand in order to punish callous officials responsible for it.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath spoke on the Gorakhpur Tragedy and said that he had started the fight against Encephalitis in Gorakhpur.  His thoughts are with grieving families. Adityanath has toured the hospital twice since becoming chief minister.  He said, “We will be getting a detailed report on the cause of deaths. Not all of them were due to lack of oxygen. We have constituted a committee to be led by the chief secretary to inquire the role of oxygen supplier in the incident.” Following this incident, a Candle light march was held yesterday at BRD Medical College.

ALSO READ: Government seeks solution to Ramjanmbhoomi dispute through talks: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath in Ayodhya

Gorakhpur DM Rajeev Rautela said that 17 children have died in the neo-natal ward, 5 in the ward meant for patients suffering from acute encephalitis syndrome and 8 in the general ward. He denied the children’s death due to lack of oxygen though confirmed that indeed there was a shortage of liquid oxygen at the medical college and due to non-payment of Rs 70 lakh, the vendor supplying oxygen stopped the supply. He further added that part payment of Rs 35 lakh has been made to the vendor and that he had been requested not to disrupt the oxygen supply.

Adityanath also held a review meeting of healthcare, among other things. The father of an infant from Padrauna told media that there was an acute shortage of oxygen and accused authorities are lying to the media. “I am ready to hear the worst about my child,” he said amid flowing tears.

Another worried father, Deep Chandra belonging to Basti district also echoed similar sentiments and said that for the last 48 hours, there was no oxygen supply and the children admitted here at the hospital were left to die despite prayers and requests to the officials of the medical college. Dozens of children admitted to the hospital are hanging between life and death situation and in absence of proper treatment, medicines, and oxygen, they have lost hope, said many others.

– prepared by Kritika Dua of NewsGram. Twitter @DKritika08


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.
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10 persons killed in Sri Lanka when 300-feet-high garbage Dump collapsed onto their Homes

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Garbage dump (representational Image), Wikimedia

Colombo, April 15, 2017: At least 10 persons, including four children, were killed after a garbage dump collapsed onto their homes outside the Sri Lankan capital.

The 300-feet-high pile in Meethotamulla had shifted after floods and a fire, and subsequently collapsed on Friday evening, Xinhua news agency reported.

Over 60 houses were damaged with some witnesses saying more than 100 homes were destroyed.

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A rescue operation continued overnight following fears many people were buried in the incident.

Several others were admitted to hospital for treatment and over 180 people have been displaced, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena instructed the Disaster Management Centre to provide assistance to the affected families.

The residents of the area have been protesting over the past several months urging the authorities to move the garbage to another location. (IANS)