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UP NRI Diwas: Villages up for adoption for foreign guests

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Agra: NRI guests coming for Uttar Pradesh’s first-ever NRI Diwas in early January will be taking responsibility of a particular village from a list provided and look after its development.

Officials said that those villages from Agra and other districts will be shortlisted which have potential to be good tourist destinations, have proper road connectivity, and are aware of sanitation and hygiene issues.

Two US presidents in the past adopted a couple of villages from the Agra district, which consequently showed a significant rise in developmental projects. Laramda was adopted by President Dwight D Eisenhower in 1959, while Bill Clinton picked up Barara in 2000.

The NRI Diwas will be conducted at a city hotel from January 4 to 6, 2016. Around 100 visitors from 25 countries are expected to take part in it.

“All efforts are being made to make it a grand and successful event,” said additional district magistrate (protocol) Arun Kumar to TOI.

The event, which is to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will see the felicitation of 10 foreign guests for their commendable work.

A presentation would be made on the second day of the meet, highlighting the various schemes of the state government. Officials said that this would be done to encourage the NRIs to invest in the state.

For January 6, the last day of the meet, trips to tourist spots in the vicinity such as the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri have been scheduled. (image:daanfoundation.org)

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Andhra Pradesh Janmabhoomi Project: 51 NRIs Help Tribal Village Kothavalasa in Developing a Space Fostering Sports Facilities

Sports Facility for a tribal village has been inaugurated by AP Janmabhoomi project which involves contribution of 51 NRIs

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AP Janmabhoomi rural project.

Andhra Pradesh, Sep 27, 2017: Kothavalasa, a tribal village near Araku saw an influx of sporting enthusiasts wailing and whistling in joy as a result of the ‘Tribal Development Project’ that got executed in less than 20 days.

With a vision to bridge NRIs to their native land, India’s Sunrise State, AP Janmabhoomi has spread its wings by launching various campaigns revolving around the holistic development of the rural public. AP Janmabhoomi’s prime focus areas include creating – Digital Classrooms, Anganwadi Centres & Crematoriums.

Before leveling the land

Girls playing throwball after leveling the land

Kothavalasa, of Dumbriguda Mandal, Vishakhapatnam District happened to be their first integrated Tribal Development Project. The Special Representative for North America, the team that is actively involved in this mission, after pondering upon various ways to impact the lives of the rural public came up with an offbeat approach.

According to the team, for any community to move forward, they need to stay united and what better than sports can teach people to stay united. Creating a sports facility is not an easy task, and it needs a lot of resources, especially money.

In alignment with their vision of involving NRIs in the overall gamut – AP Janmabhoomi, kicked off a fundraiser
campaign and has collected a sum of almost 1,30,000 rupees in just five days. It should be noted that the whole fundraising was carried on the official website of AP Janmabhoomi, where 51 NRIs from various parts of the globe have participated. During the team’s physical inspection to the site, they’ve partnered with ThinkPeace, an NGO which has already been impacting the people living there for more than 5 years till now. As part of their integrated Tribal Development Project, AP Janmabhoomi also donated an amount of Rs. 3,00,000 for the construction of an Anganwadi school.

Distributing sports equipment

Shri Sarveshwar Rao, MLA of Araku and Shri Ravi Subhash, I.A.S graced the inauguration ceremony with their presence
and distributed the sports equipment which is set to unite and empower the youth and children of tribal villages around Kothavalasa. The equipment included outdoor sports equipment like volleyball, throw ball and cricket kits. The indoor equipment included table tennis, carom boards, and chessboards. A tournament named after the great freedom fighter, Shri Alluri Sitaramaju, was organized in the ground which saw participants from 12 Mandals.

Also Read: NRI School Connect Campaign- A new Virtual Learning initiative by government of AP 

The AP Special Representative for North America, Shri Jayaram Komati, currently heading the social initiative,
believes that all the NRIs share a common will to help
their native land.

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NRI Man accused of Rape charges for Cohabiting with her legally married wife in USA

Lakhs of Indian origin NRI men face immediate arrest on account of false complaints of heinous crimes by disgruntled wives

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NRI man charged under section 376 Rape
‘No Fault’ Divorce in the USA is not acceptable as per Hindu Marriage Act. Pixabay

Sep 14, 2017: The quandary of the outcast wives is evident in a country like India. NRI husbands have been known for leaving their wives in India and flying to abroad. These wives are being shunned by the society as well. While the problem is grim and sincere, some NRI husbands are also succumbing to the victimization of blackmailing from their wives. Such is the perplexity of the USA based Sachin Jain, who claims that he was erroneously accused of rape charges in India.

Newsgram contacted Sachin Jain for further inquiry into the matter.

According to him lakhs of NRI’s face immediate arrest on account of false complaints of heinous crimes by disgruntled wives.

In a unique case of its kind, an NRI, Sachin Jain who is residing in the USA for last 9 years, has been accused u/s 376 on charges of Cohabitation in the USA with his own legally married wife. A FIR u/s 376 (Rape) has been registered in this regard by the Delhi Police on the orders of Metropolitan Magistrate Chhavi Kapoor of Karkardooma Courts of Delhi. Under this case, the wife allegedly filed a complained in the Karkardooma District court claiming to have cohabited with the NRI man after ex parte divorce obtained in the USA. The couple that is still married as per applicable Indian Laws got a divorce decree from Superior Courts of New Jersey, USA on the grounds of ‘Irreconcilable Differences in marriage.’ This type of Divorce decree also known as ‘No Fault’ Divorce in USA and European Countries is granted by foreign courts without arguments and submission to the court by another party.

As per the Hindu Marriage Act, such tribunal is not functional in India and hence, the couple who got divorce decree in the USA are still legally married in India. The Divorce Decree granted by USA Courts on account of ‘Irreconcilable Differences in marriage’ is unrecognized in Hindu Marriage Act 1955 and section 13 of Civil Procedure Code. This has been iterated couple of times by various High Courts of India after the landmark judgment of Supreme Court in the case of Y. Narasimha Rao And Ors vs. Y. Venkata Lakshmi And Anr on 9 July 1991

As per section 44a of Civil Procedure Code 1908, India has reciprocal agreements with only 11 countries in the world which allow India and the other country to accept each other’s court judgments as it is. There is no reciprocal agreement in place between India and USA for accepting each other’s judgments. Due to no reciprocal agreements, India does not give any recognition to the judgments and decrees passed by the USA.

The Humble Metropolitan Magistrate of Delhi District court, without knowing this fact that the judgments provided by USA court can not be taken into cognizance, and the fact that couple is still married as per Indian Laws ordered the Delhi Police to register a FIR u/s 376 which gives unlimited power to Delhi Police to arrest the accused immediately, open Look Out Circular (LOC) against the accused, issue Red Corner Notice taking help of Interpol. This makes an innocent person terrorist and criminal jeopardizing his career, job, and life.

After a FIR u/s 376 is registered against an NRI, he is faced with another challenge of corruption, extortion, blackmailing in the name of this legal terrorism. The complainant wife and her lawyer start blackmailing the NRI husband asking for an exorbitant sum of money in crores to settle the matter out of court.

Sachin says, “I request to the Supreme Court of India, to create special courts for dealing with NRI related matters where expert judges with full knowledge of International Private Laws should take up the matter for hearing. The lower judiciary would also be saved from passing erroneous orders against applicable Indian laws”

He concluded, “Due to complex International Private Laws, the lower judiciary in India without full knowledge of applicable laws governing marriage and divorce in India sometimes commit grave errors and passes unbelievable orders jeopardizing the career and life of innocent NRIs living far away from their country of birth for livelihood.”


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Women Leaders Struggle for Water Taps and Security in the Indian Slums

About 65 million people live in India's slums, according to official data

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Slum dwellers
Children from Indian slums. VOA

Ahmedabad, August 22, 2017: Hansaben Rasid knows what it is like to live without a water tap or a toilet of her own, constantly fearful of being evicted by city officials keen on tearing down illegal settlements like hers in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.

The fear and lack of amenities are but a memory today, after she became a community leader in the Jadibanagar slum and pushed residents to apply for a program that gave them facilities and a guarantee of no evictions for 10 years.

“We didn’t even have a water tap here — we had to fetch water from the colony near by, and so much time went in just doing that. People kept falling sick because there was just one toilet,” she said.

“Now that we have individual water taps and toilets, we can focus on work and the children’s education. Everyone’s health has improved, and we don’t need to be afraid of getting evicted any day,” she said, seated outside her home.

Also Read: Actress-turned Interior Designer Twinkle Khanna comes forward to support Education for Slum Children

Jadibanagar, with 108 homes, is one of more than 50 slums in Ahmedabad that have been upgraded by Parivartan — meaning “change” — a program that involves city officials, slum dwellers, a developer and a nonprofit organization.

Every household pays 2,000 rupees ($31) and in return, each home gets a water tap, a toilet, a sewage line and a stormwater drain. The slum gets street lights, paved lanes and regular garbage collection.

Each home also pays 80 rupees as an annual maintenance fee, and the city commits to not evicting residents for 10 years.

Negotiation skills

A crucial part of the program is the involvement of a woman leader who brings residents on board, deals with city officials and oversees the upgrade.

Nonprofit Mahila Housing Trust has trained women residents to be community leaders in a dozen cities in the country, including more than 60 in Ahmedabad.

“Women are responsible for the basic needs of the family, and most also work at home while the husband works outside, so the lack of a water tap or a toilet affects them more,” said Bharati Bhonsale, program manager at Mahila Housing Trust.

“Yet they traditionally have had little influence over policy decisions and local governance. We train them in civic education, build their communication and negotiation skills, and teach them to be leaders of the community,” she said.

About 65 million people live in India’s slums, according to official data, which activists say is a low estimate.

That number is rising quickly as tens of thousands of migrants leave their villages to seek better prospects in urban areas. Many end up in overcrowded slums, lacking even basic facilities and with no claim on the land or their property. Yet slum dwellers have long opposed efforts to relocate them to distant suburbs, which limits their access to jobs. Instead, they favor upgrading of their slums or redevelopment.

Earlier this month, officials in the eastern state of Odisha said they would give land rights to slum dwellers in small towns and property rights to those in city settlements in a “historic” step that will benefit tens of thousands.

In Gujarat state, as Jadibanagar is on private land, it is not eligible for the city’s redevelopment plan.

“These homes are all illegal, but that doesn’t mean the people cannot live decently,” said Bhonsale.

“With redevelopment, there is demolition and a move, and that can take longer to convince people of, with the men usually making the decision. But with an upgrade, the women make the decision very quickly by themselves,” she said.

Bottom up

Elsewhere, in Delhi’s Savda Ghevra slum resettlement colony where about 30,000 people live, nonprofit Marg taught women residents to demand their legal right to water, sanitation and transport.

A group of women then filed Right to Information petitions, to improve their access to drinking water, buses and sanitation.

“The women bear the brunt of not having these amenities, and are therefore most motivated to do something about the situation,” said Anju Talukdar, director of Marg.

“The leaders are the ones who show up for meetings, are engaged and keen to learn how to use the law to improve their lives,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Contrary to perceptions that slums are run by petty criminals who resist efforts to redevelop or upgrade, women leaders in Jadibanagar and Savda Ghevra are actively engaged in bettering everyone’s lives.

Leaders often emerge from a bottom-up process, with reputations for getting things done — in particular, resisting evictions and securing basic services, according to research by Adam Auerbach at the American University and Tariq Thachil at Vanderbilt University.

“They are themselves ordinary residents, living with their families and facing the same vulnerabilities and risks as their neighbors; they, too, want paved roads, clean drinking water, proper sanitation and schools for their children,” they said.

Women leaders, while still a minority, are “rarely token figures” serving male heads of households, and are “just as active, assertive and locally authoritative as their male counterparts,” they said in an email.

Rasid in Jadibanagar, whose two sons and their families live in homes alongside hers, is certain her leadership helped residents improve their homes and their lives.

“Everyone wants security and nicer homes, and they are willing to pay. Someone just has to get it done,” she said.

“I am illiterate, I cannot read, but I know now how to talk to officials and the developer and tell them what we want, and make sure they deliver,” she said. (VOA)