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Ruskin Bond: Children’s Author celebrates his 82nd B’day

Ruskin Bond has been writing since 40 years and has written more than three hundred short stories, essays, novels, over thirty books of children and two volumes of autobiographies.

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Ruskin Bond. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Ruskin Bond, a wonderful Indian author, who has won the hearts of many with his intriguing words. He is best known as a children’s’ story writer and is considered as one of the greatest Indian authors of the English language.

Few things about the author that will give you a glimpse of his life:

  • Ruskin Bond was born on May 19, 1934, in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh.
  • He spent his childhood in Jamnagar (Gujarat), Dehradun, and Shimla.
  • In 1950, he wrote his first short story titled “Untouchables” when he was just 16.
  • After completing his schooling, he moved to England for further education. It was there that he completed his first novel “The Room On The Roof” when he was seventeen and it got published when he was 21. This novel received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial prize in 1957.
  • Initially, many of his stories were also published in newspapers and magazines.

Related Article: Writing for children not easy: Ruskin Bond

  • His stories have also been adapted by many film makers. The Hindi movie Junoon was based on his novel “A Flight of Pigeons” which was produced by Shashi Kapoor and directed by Shyam Benegal.
Books by Ruskin Bond. Image source: Wikipedia
Books by Ruskin Bond. Image source: Wikipedia
  • Saath Khoon Maaf (based on Susanna’s Seven Husbands) and The Blue Umbrella (based on a book with the same title) both directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. Ruskin Bond, in fact collaborated with Bhardwaj in the making of The Blue Umbrella which won the National Award for Best Children’s film.
  • He has been writing since 40 years and within this span of his writing career, he has written more than three hundred short stories, essays, novels, over thirty books of children and two volumes of autobiographies.
  • His writing career has brought him a number of awards. He received the Sahitya Academy Award (1992) for English writing in India for Our Trees Still Grow In Dehra. Other awards include Padma Shri (1991) and Padma Bhushan (2014).

Here is a short poem by Ruskin Bond:

 

RAINDROP

This leaf, so complete in itself,

Is only part of the tree.

And this tree, so complete in itself,

Is only part of the forest.

And the forest runs down from the hill to the sea,

And the sea, so complete in itself,

Rests like a raindrop

In the hand of God.

-By Pashchiema Bhatia

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  • Akanksha Sharma

    Ruskin Bond’s stories have charmed and entertained children for years. His books are fantastic. Especially the Adventures of Rusty, it is really amazing.

  • Archita aggarwal

    Happy birthday Ruskin…. Bond

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Why Does Trump Separate Families, A Policy Or A Law?

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection

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In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018.
In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, rest in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, June 17, 2018. VOA

The Trump administration at least since April has been separating children and parents who enter the United States illegally at the border — that much is supported by the numbers. But much of everything else surrounding the practice has become mired in confusion.

Here is what we know:

In recent weeks, news stories of children in detention centers have circulated more widely, and the numbers of detained children have grown.

Department of Homeland Security officials told reporters Friday that between April 19 and May 31 of this year, nearly 2,000 (1,995) children were separated from their parents or other adults with whom they were traveling.

A video released Monday by Customs and Border Protection shows what appears to be humane conditions at a shelter site for children, but many worry that this video, the only video that has been released from within one of the detention centers, may not accurately depict them.

A policy or a law?

As criticism over the separation of parents and children at the border grows, the Trump administration has struggled to explain the policy.

Trump, himself, said the practice is the result of a law passed by Democrats, which has forced his administration into separating parents and children.

But there is no such law.

Rather in May, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero-tolerance” policy, which means that those detained entering the United States illegally would be criminally charged. This approach generally leads to children being separated from their parents because the law requires it.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center's annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about religious liberty at the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission in Washington, June 13, 2018, VOA

On Sunday, senior policy adviser to the Trump administration Stephen Miller told The New York Times that the crackdown “was a simple decision by the administration to have a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry. Period.”

Administration officials, including Miller and Sessions, have defended the separation of families, saying that having children does not exempt anyone from the consequences of breaking the law.

“If you cross the border unlawfully, even a first offense, we’re going to prosecute you. … If you don’t want your child to be separated, then don’t bring them across the border illegally,” Sessions told a gathering of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.

The administration has said the new practice is directed at combating a “surge” of unlawful border crossings. But the “surge” appears to be numbers marking a return-to-normal after a dip last year.

Not a new idea

Though the practice of treating all people who cross the border unlawfully as subject to criminal prosecution is new under the Trump administration, it is built on existing policies from the Bush and Obama administrations.

Amid a surge of unlawful migration from Central America to the United States in 2014, the Obama administration considered many plans to deter illegal border crossings, including separating parents and children. Ultimately, Obama decided against separations but did expand the detention of immigrant families. New facilities were opened along the border, which held women and children for long periods of time before their cases were processed.

Following widespread criticism after photos of detained women and children, accompanied by testimonies of people being held for extended periods, a federal judge in Washington effectively ruled that asylum-seeking mothers could not be held for longer than 20 days, leading to what has been called a “catch and release” system where adults were released with GPS ankle monitors tracking their movements until their cases could be heard in court.

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs' Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.
=U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018. VOAU.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 18, 2018.VOA

But this “catch and release” system has been heavily criticized by Trump and his administration.

Also read: Trump Launched A New Attack On Mueller Probe In Russia

“This get out of jail free card for families and groups who pose as families has spread,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. “The word of this has spread. The smugglers and traffickers know these loopholes better than our members of Congress. I’m sad to say that from October 2017 to this February, we have seen a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country. This must stop,” she said. (VOA)