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8 things India needs to learn from Cuba on women empowerment

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6.6.10CubanParadeUCByLuigiNovi5

By Meghna

Most of us, by now, will be familiar with the contents of the open letter which Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal wrote to India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.

In the letter, which has also been broadcasted on AIR, Kejriwal is pointing out how women are feeling increasingly insecure in Delhi and how the Police has not exactly been efficient in ensuring their safety.

The law and order situation and the resultant lapse in the safety of the denizens are indeed things to be concerned about.

When it comes to ensuring the safety of women and providing them with equal rights, maybe no other country stands at par with Cuba. Cuba is perhaps the only country in Latin America where women are completely equal in terms of work, wages, education and healthcare.

India is a force to be reckoned with and there is hardly any doubt. But when it comes to ensuring equal rights and opportunities to women, we should look westwards, or at least towards Cuba.

NewsGram brings you the eight achievements of Cuban society post the Revolution of 1950s that the Indian society and system should seriously look at and absolutely consider adapting.

  1. According to a United Nations Survey on Women in Politics, Cuba occupies the third position in the world in terms of percentage of women in unicameral parliaments. 45.2% of seats in Cuban parliament are occupied by women.

  2. Cuba is the only nation of Latin America to be ranked among top 20 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender-gap Report of 2011.

  3. 50% of Cuban workforce is women.

  4. Literacy rate of Cuba is 100% and the percentage of literate women is 99%.

  5. Cuba has an advanced healthcare system and has significantly low Maternal Mortality Rates and life expectancy of women is approximately 80 years.

  6. Women and Men are mandated by law that they have equal responsibilities towards their households.

  7. Cuban women get a total of 18 weeks paid maternity leave with an extra 2 weeks if the birth is delayed and they also have the option of an extended leave with 60% pay until the child is one year old.

  8. Cuba has very high percentage of women enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

 

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  • Just wow!!! Cuba also has a very good healthcare system and its sustainable agriculture is inspirational even to developed countries. All success is due to their collective thirst for freedom and their revolution.

  • Just wow!!! Cuba also has a very good healthcare system and its sustainable agriculture is inspirational even to developed countries. All success is due to their collective thirst for freedom and their revolution.

Next Story

Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)