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No farmer should commit suicide, SC tells government

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that there should not be any case of farmers suicide on account of financial distress rooted to their agricultural activities as it described “not enough” the government claim of “considerable decline” in suicide cases. “Decrease in number of suicides is not enough, there should be no case of farmer suicide in the country,” observed the social justice bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit as it pointed to the need to re-examine the National Policy for Farmers, 2007, saying that it may have some inherent deficiencies.

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The court observation came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by a Punjab-based NGO Youth Kamal Organisation highlighting the increasing number of suicides by farmers in different parts of the country on account of their difficult financial conditions. The NGO has sought the implementation of Dr. M.S. Swaminathan Committee’s recommendations on the farming sector. The central government in its reply to the PIL by the NGO had said that farmers suicides were not due to agrarian reasons alone but also for factors like “family problems, illness, drug abuse/addiction, unemployment, property dispute, professional/career problems, love affairs, barrenness/impotency, cancellation/non-settlement of marriage, dowry dispute, fall in social reputation and other factors”.

Giving six weeks to the central government to inform the court whether it was inclined to re-examine the 2007 policy, the court was remained unimpressed as Additional Solicitor General Pinki Anand told it that there was a considerable decline in “unfortunate” suicide by the farmers. The court also had its misgivings about the efficacy of the annual meetings of the committee headed by the eminent agricultural scientist Swaminathan that goes into the issues relating to the farmers and felt that these meetings, instead of a being once a year affair, should take place more frequently.

(IANS)

 

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Be a farmer on weekends at Citrus County Hoshiarpur

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Wheat field in Phagwara Punjab India. Wikimedia

Hoshiarpur, Oct 2, 2017: Punjab is better known for India’s “green revolution” in agriculture and for contributing the maximum foodgrain to the national kitty. And now a progressive horticulturist and entrepreneur is offering hands-on experience to visitors to try their hand at how farming is actually done.

“Be a farmer on weekends at Citrus County — Hoshiarpur. Get your kids to the farm to give them a unique experience in a typical farm in Punjab. Let then come and indulge in plucking fruit and sowing vegetable seeds in the fields on their own.” This is how Harkirat Ahluwalia, owner of the Citrus County farm resort, puts it.

“We are offering guests, especially children, first-hand experience of doing farming. This is something that people have never tried before. The experience gives them the satisfaction of doing hard work and experiencing what life is like in the countryside,” Harkirat, who along with his wife Jasveen runs the resort, about 140 km from Chandigarh, told IANS.

The guests at the farm can sow seeds, pluck citrus fruit, plough the fields, milk cows, drive a tractor and take a ride to a nearby forest and rivulet in a tractor-trolley.

Fresh home-cooked food, which is prepared on earthen stoves at the ground level, home-grown organic vegetables and warm hospitality add up in equal measure to make the experience a refreshing one.

“Glamping”, or luxury tenting, as Harkirat puts it, is also part of the farm experience.

The nine air-conditioned tents at Citrus County, with attached bathrooms, offer luxury stay with king-sized beds in the midst of the sprawling orchards of kinnow (a citrus fruit) and tall poplar trees.

Also Read: Indian Agriculture status, Importance & Role In Indian Economy 

The farm resort is located in Chaunni Kalan village, five km short of Hoshiarpur on the Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh highway.

“Cycling enthusiasts are welcome to get their wheels along and we will provide them the best possible tracks,” said Harkirat, who is a post-graduate in Mass Communication from Panjab University and himself a cycling and biking enthusiast.

In the past, the resort has seen couples from other countries going through wedding rituals the Indian way to give them a real-time feel of the country’s culture and marriage ceremonies.

The unique thing in couples opting for the Indian-style wedding is that they are already married and are middle-aged or even older. The couples are accompanied by their friends, relatives and even children and grandchildren for this unique experience. (IANS)

 

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Your Children Might Be At Risk! According to UNICEF, 32 Nations Lack Policies to Support Families With Children

The report says that only 15 countries, including Cuba, France, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, have all the three essential national policies that support families with young children

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New York, September 23, 2017 : Thirty-two countries, having the world’s 85 million children under the age of five, do not have any essential policy that supports families with young children, a UNICEF report said.

According to the global body, 40 per cent of the 85 million children, live in just two countries – Bangladesh and the US. The report said that data from various countries including India was missing.

The report says that only 15 countries, including Cuba, France, Portugal, Russia and Sweden, have all the three essential national policies that support families with young children.

“We need to do more to give parents and care givers of young children the support they need during this most critical period of brain development,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, adding that if nations don’t invest now in the most vulnerable children and families, they will continue to perpetuate intergenerational cycles of disadvantage and inequality.

“Life by life, missed opportunity by missed opportunity, we are increasing the gap between the haves and the have-nots and undermining our long-term strength and stability,” said Lake.

ALSO READ World in the Grip of ‘Hidden Crimes’ : Over 40 Million People, Including Women and Children Trapped in Modern Slavery, Reveals New Report

According to the report, Early Moments Matter for Every Child, two years of free pre-primary education, paid breastfeeding breaks during the first six months of a child’s life followed by six months of paid maternity leave as well as four weeks of paid paternity leave help lay a critical foundation for optimal early childhood development.

“These policies help parents better protect their children and provide them with better nutrition, play and early learning experiences in the crucial first years of life when the brain grows at a rate never to be repeated,” said the report.

Among the countries, which do not have any of the child or parent related policies are Algeria, Barbados, Bhutan, Brunei, Gambia and Kenya.

The report also highlights that millions of children under five years are spending their formative years in unsafe, unstimulating environments.

“Around 75 million children under-five live in areas affected by conflict, increasing their risk of toxic stress, which can inhibit brain cell connections in early childhood,” the report said.

“Globally, poor nutrition, unhealthy environments and disease have left 155 million children under five stunted, which robs their bodies and brains from developing to their full potential.”

It also mentioned that a quarter of all children between the ages of two and four years in 64 countries do not take part in activities essential for brain development such as playing, reading and singing.

“Around 300 million children globally live in areas where the air is toxic, which emerging research shows can damage children’s developing brains,” it said and added that the failure to protect and provide the most disadvantaged children with early development opportunities undermines potential growth of whole societies and economies. (IANS)

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Farmer Takes Away The Title Of America’s Got Talent 2017!

Darci Lynne Farmer, the most beloved contestant from the show has been crowned as the winner of the talent hunt

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12-year-old singing ventriloquist, Darci Lynne Farmer, walked off the stage with the winner’s title and a grand prize of $1 million Source: Twitter

New Delhi, September 21, 2017: America’s Got Talent, the peoples choice has dropped down the curtain with the most amazing and thrilling performance by Darci Lynne Farmer. The most beloved contestant from the show has been crowned as the winner of the talent hunt on this Wednesday’s finale.

12-year-old singing ventriloquist, walked off the stage with the winner’s title and a grand prize of $1 million, over another little singing sensation Angelica Hale.

The show publicized the season 12 winner in its official Twitter page with a picture of Famer and her puppet, Petunia.

Farmer had been among the most enchanting contestant since her first performance of AGT, which earned her a Golden Buzzer from the judge.

ALSO READ: June 21 is World Music Day: Here is what some Musicians have to say!

Hale, who was the opponent of Farmer in the finale also congratulated the latter through twitter with her crying photograph.

Reportedly, the finale was full of the grandeur performances by singer Kelly Clarkson, who performed her hit track ‘stronger’ with Hale.

The third position was backed by Illuminated dance troupe.

Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire