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New policy for acid attack victims in making: Maneka Gandhi

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Source: Google images
Source: Google images
Source: Google images

New Delhi: The government has started working towards new policies to support acid attack victims, where the whole of the attacker’s family has to compensate for the attack, union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Monday.

Speaking at the launch of a television show ‘Abke Baras Mohe Bitiya Hi Dijo’, an initiative supported by the ministry, Gandhi said her ministry has taken acid attacks on women seriously.

“We are making a new policy for acid attack victims. The policy shall have the whole family of an attacker paying compensation for the attack, not just the one who threw acid,” the minister said.

In an interaction with Sonali Mukherjee, 30, who has a permanently disfigured face after an acid attack in 2003, Gandhi said a ban on acid has not been possible as acid is used for many purposes in daily life.

Through ‘One Stop Centres’ set up by the ministry, women affected by violence can receive medical, legal and police help, she added.

Gandhi also added that through this show, which will daily telecast inspiring stories of women from across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ will be taken a step ahead.

The programme will be aired on Focus TV starting August 15 this year.

Women who have survived through all odds to stand as the first female police officer of the country, the first physically challenged woman to climb the Mount Everest among others, will be featured in the show.

(IANS)

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70 Years of Independence But No Right to Live With Dignity for Women: National Commission for Women Data

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Right to live with dignity
Indian students shout slogans as they hold placards demanding stringent punishment for rapists during a protest in New Delhi, India, April, 23, 2013. VOA
Oct 3, 2017: India completes 70 years of Independence, yet women of the country fight for their ‘right to live with dignity’. Our women are still not free from the clutches of societal customs. According to the media reports (2016-17), the National Commission for Women (NCW) received maximum complaints under this category, ahead of rape or molestation.
The NCW is a statutory body appointed to safeguard women’s rights. The highest number of complaints registered by NCW were 4,373 under the ‘right to live with dignity,’ followed by dowry harassment (1,752), disrespecting the modesty of a woman (946) and violence against women (943), reported IndiaTimes.
“The NCW is founded upon the recognition that in a patriarchal society, women face a far greater degree of vulnerability and, hence, any effort to reform any law cannot go against this well-evidenced fact and reality and now argue that men are equally if not more vulnerable than women,” All India Progressive Women’s Association secretary Kavita Krishnan said, reported PTI.
[bctt tweet=”As much as Right to live is a physical right, it is equally imperative to exercise a right to live with dignity. ” username=”NewsGramdotcom”]
Many a times police personals ask women inappropriate and insensitive questions during investigations. It is startling to see that NCW department has registered 3,963 complaints of police apathy, which also top the cases of molestation or dowry.
Often women are compelled to marry against their choice. Indian women grapple with the right to choice in marriage and forceful arranged marriages that dominate consensual marriages in the Indian society. NCW received 337 complaints about women wanting the right to choose their own spouses.

In the famous conflict between Maneka Gandhi and Union of India, she challenged her impounded passport in the apex court. Maneka was issued a passport on 1976, and within a week, the same was impounded because of the public interest. A writ petition was filed with the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court of India gave a new light to Article 21 (III) by demonstrating that the right to live is not merely a physical right but encompasses the right to live with dignity as well.
As per the Article 21 of Indian Constitution:
No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.

Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94

 

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Taxing Menstruation? GST Denies Sanitary Napkins as Essential Commodity

GST has definitely marked a cornerstone in the Indian economy, however, it has failed to recognise the basic need of a woman

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GST
Most store owners in this market say they are unprepared for the switch to the Goods and Services Tax that will unify India into a single market because they do not have computers or internet connections. VOA

– By Naina Mishra

July 3, 2017: The revised GST rate list has yet again proved to be patricentric and ignored the natural process that leads to motherhood – “Menstruation”. With levying 12% tax on sanitary napkins, it evinced that menstrual hygiene of the 355 million women is still not the concern of the policymakers. What’s intimidating is the depiction of an Indian Woman in the society. Exemption of kumkum, sindoor, bindis, alta and bangles from tax exemplifies a picture of the ideal Indian woman as a visibly married Hindu woman in India.

In India, Menstrual hygiene still remains to be the most challenging developmental issues today. Regarded as a deep taboo, menstruation is a crafted illusion of myths and misinformation and thus inherently judged as shameful, gross and weird. Women and girls often times lack access to hygienic sanitary materials necessary for good menstrual hygiene. It is estimated that over 20 percent of girls drop out of school completely after reaching puberty.

Indirect taxation is classified into essential and luxury goods, and labeling sanitary pads as the luxury item, not admitting its essential attribute in myriads of women’s life is another critique of the revised GST rate list. The arguments on taxing sanitary pads keep on mounting that the product was not inborn or domesticated in India. Cotton rags conversely can be used as an alternative if used with discretion and washed properly. However, such basis cannot deny the access to basic menstrual sanitation facility to the women.

ALSO READ: Hindu Temple Kamakhya questions the Dominant Religious Legacies against Menstrual Blood

A study by AC Nielsen titled, “sanitary Protection reveals only 12 % of India’s 355 million women use sanitary napkins. Over 88% of women resort to unsafe alternatives like un-sanitized cloth, ashes and husk sand. Incidents of Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) are 70% more prevalent among these women. The biggest challenge to using a Sanitary Napkins in India is the affordability owing to which 88% of women use old fabric, rags or sand to manage their menstrual flow.

Lately, Delhi Commission of Women Chairperson Swati Maliwal wrote to the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: “The better half of our population has been bestowed with the gift of motherhood and in this process, all females from the tender age of 10-12 years till 45-50 years face monthly menstruation. Since menstruation is a natural phenomenon, hygiene, and proper health during this period is a natural fundamental right of each female citizen of this country. However, sanitary napkins which are critical for the health and hygiene of millions of women are presently taxed.”

Not only this, there have been similar attempts in the past by Sushmita Dev, Member of Parliament, who launched a petition to  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for removal of tax on sanitary napkins.

Sushmita Dev with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley concerning petition

The highlights of the petition were affordability, accessibility, and availability of sanitary napkins to the Indian women. The petition deemed the tax unfair because of the underlying fact –  women being taxed 12 months a year, for about 39 years on a process they have no control over. The petition gained three lakh supporters in its due course.

The petition was also signed by Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development.

Maneka Gandhi supporting the Tax free wings petition

She stated, “I strongly believe a tax exemption for sanitary pads will also bolster the Honourable Prime Minister’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” and “Swachh Bharat” initiatives. This will also encourage more girls to continue their school education and more women to participate in the workforce.”


– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94

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Kolkata Woman throws acid on a man from her shop, 4 Pedestrians injured

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Sulphur Dioxide, Wikimedia

Kolkata, April 16, 2017: A woman was arrested for allegedly throwing acid from her shop injuring at least four pedestrians, including a civic volunteer, in Kolkata on Sunday, police said.

Manika Naskar (35), a shopkeeper, was arrested for allegedly attacking a person with acid during an altercation over money in Salt Lake’s Nayapatty area. Some pedestrians present at the spot were also injured in the attack, an officer from Electronic Complex police station said.

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According to police, Naskar had some financial dispute with a local person. During an altercation on Sunday afternoon, she hurled acid aiming at him. The acid also spilled on some pedestrians, including a civic volunteer, who were present at the spot.

The victims suffered minor burn injuries in the attack and were released after administering primary first aid, the officer said.

Naskar was arrested and slapped with charges of acid throwing (IPC 326A) and criminal intimidation (IPC 506). The acid stored in her shop has been seized, police said.

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Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of Kolkata Police ran a joint raid with the state police personnel to seize nearly 90 kg of illegally stored sulphuric acid from Bardhaman district’s Katwa on Saturday, a senior CID official said on Sunday.

We have seized a huge amount of illegally stored acid from Burdwan and Katwa. We are investigating how the culprits managed to store so much acid without proper documents, the officer added. (IANS)