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New Delhi, Feb 7, 2017: The name ‘Asha Kiran’, or ‘ray of hope’ is a government-run shelter for women with mental disabilities which comes under the jurisdiction of Delhi’s social welfare Department. However, the combined negligence of the department and the successive regimes of Delhi towards this facility, has not just shamed the welfare management system but also raised a question over its credibility.
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The investigation report of Delhi Commission for Women reveals the heartbreaking reality of Asha Kiran which I believe has accorded another reason in building unfaithfulness of the people towards government-run welfare programs.
The team of DCW headed by its chief Swati Mittal, went to Asha Kiran for a surprise inspection, and what they witnessed there have taken places in their report as ‘extremely inhumane and unhygienic conditions‘ with ‘several instances of human rights violations on the part of the management’.
One of the most shocking findings of the investigation report is the ‘unreported deaths of 11 women in the past two months at the facility’. Yes, 11 women died in the facility and the concerned management didn’t care to file the report of their deaths.
While the investigation team finds it extremely difficult to understand that not just the management unreported the 11 deaths, but they also didn’t have any reason to support the cause of 11 unreported deaths. The deaths of 11 inmates cannot be a mystery, there have to be some reasons behind their deaths, or did they just succumb to the negligence of the management.
Apart from the unreported deaths, the commission has reported some shocking discoveries about the home. According to TOI, women inmates were made to line up naked before their baths in corridors with CCTV cameras. The CCTV footage was monitored by a male staffer, Maliwal said.
“I, along with other members of the commission, went for a surprise inspection of the home and ended up spending the night there. Among other things, we found the home was overcrowded, with up to four persons occupying one bed. Women were being made to remove their clothes in the open while lining up to take a bath. Shockingly, nude women were roaming around in the corridors even as there are CCTV cameras installed there which are being monitored by male staff,” Maliwal told the newspaper.
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The women were forced to live cheek by jowl because of the overcrowding of the facility. At this point, the only authority which could be accused here is the state government. But what followed next can’t be just blamed on the government alone, the management played equal role as of the government by not adhering to the fulfillment of their obligations.
In addition to the extreme overcrowding of the facility, the children were being made to sleep on the floor without mattresses despite the cold winter. When the DCW asked the staffers about this idiocy, they said this was because they were wetting their beds.
The DCW mentioned the sanitation and hygienic conditions of the facility as utterly deplorable. Toilets, as well as some corridors, were covered in urine, excreta and menstrual blood. Even the rooms reeked of urine as patients relieved themselves and weren’t cleaned, The Times of India report said.
As they weren’t being provided with wheelchairs, several patients with physical disabilities had to crawl up to the toilets in order to relieve themselves.
The report also reveals a shocking incident where a patient was found massaging the legs of a staffer, According to the report, the patients were also made to do chores, including personal work for the staffers.
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The DCW report also mentions the acuteness of medical care and manpower in the facility, with just one ‘house aunty’ was deployed to care for more than 150 patients. The facility provides no clinical psychologist to the patients and has just one psychiatrist, who visits for several twice in a week. There are several vacant positions for doctors in the facility.
The DCW has sent a notice to the Social Welfare Secretary demanding an answer within 3 days regarding the discrepancies in the ‘Asha Kiran’.
According to a reply of an RTI to The Indian Express in 2015, the death toll at the facility has increased by 76% from 2013. According to Hindustan Times, over 600 deaths have been reported at the facility since 2001. According to a comptroller and auditor general report in 2015, 900 patients were living at the facility meant for 350.
The situation at Asha Kiran is becoming volatile day by day and demands the incumbent government to respond swiftly on this matter. The justice should be brought to the patients who have suffered in the past and yet suffering this apathy.
Let’s hope the government answers the unheard plight of the patients at the Asha Kiran, and many more institutions alike.
–prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram, Twitter @PhulRetard
The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.
The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.
Austria, France, Latvia, Spain, Germany, and Russia are amongst the many countries that have banned the display and use of the Swastika.
Moreover, last week Victoria in Australia is preparing to become the first-ever state to ban the public display of the Swastika. This is a step towards an expansion of anti-vilification laws in the state.
Representation of the Swastika on the flag of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Movement.Photo by Flickr.
Now, we must know and understand what went wrong with this symbol, which is sacred and signifies all-good things.
For a very, very long time, in India, the Swastika is the first emblem that is worshipped or even drawn before any sacred and auspicious ceremonies as this symbol in Sanskrit represents 'well-being'. But, the Swastika lost all its credibility when it was wrongfully used by Adolf Hitler.
In fact, it is believed that if this symbol is worshipped properly, then it gives positive results. But if it is abused, then it gives negative results. So, when Adolf Hitler rotated the Swastika at 45 degrees, it slowly and steadily brought misery not only to Adolf Hitler and his theory of Nazism but also to all the people who were associated with him.
Therefore, in order to give the kind of respect and credibility which the Swastika deserves, World Interfaith Harmony Week which was held in New York in February this year, interfaith groups appealed to the United Nations to recognize and acknowledge the Swastika as an important and peaceful symbol. In fact, they also differentiated it from the Hakenkreuz or "Hooked Cross" of Adolf Hitler.
India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.
Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.
In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018. | Wikimedia Commons
Chopra's first international medal came in 2014, as he took home a silver medal at the Youth Olympic Qualification Tournament in Bangkok. In 2015, he set a world record in the junior category of 81.04 meters in the 2015 All India Inter-University Athletics Meet.
Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance, setting an Under-20 world record of 86.48m, which still stands. Gold medals in both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Asian Games are among his other accomplishments, including a first-place in the 2017 Asian Championships. In 2018, he broke the world record in the javelin throw and became India's first-ever gold medalist in the javelin throw. He is also a laureate of the Arjuna Award for 2018.
Chopra has also had his share of bad events in life. In 2019, he underwent surgery on the elbow of his right throwing arm, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. However, he returned more robust than ever. In November 2019, he went to South Africa to train from Klaus Bartoneitz. He spent the following year in India training at the NIS Patiala because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was allowed to go to France with his coach after weeks of trying to get a travel visa.
Neeraj Chopra made history in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win a gold medal in athletics. Also, it is worth mentioning that after Abhinav Bindra, Chopra is only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal.
Keywords: Neeraj Chopra, Olympics, Tokyo2020, Gold medal, javelin, India, Haryana
The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England brought with it many apprehensions and fears that translated into a new genre in literature: the gothic. Today, the idea of the gothic does not have to much with literature as much as it is associated with fashion.
The Victorians began to wear black more often during the Industrial Revolution to hide the stains of soot on their clothes. Many of the working class were employed in factories. They were newly introduced to technology, the idea of coal as fuel, and the working of machines to serve a certain purpose. This kind of work was hard and messy. Wearing light colours burdened the tired folk when the stubborn stains did not get washed away.
The steam engine was invented to make locomotion easier for the masses, but it brought fear to the people. They had led quiet and simple lives till now, and suddenly their world was infiltrated with loud noises and smoke. Dark places became synonymous with evil deeds and mysteries. It was from this time that horror gained a place in the imaginations of people and artists.
A man sporting gothic clothes and shock coloured hair Image source: wikimedia commons
The gothics of today are those who have held on to these practices. There is no need to fear smoke and noise anymore, but the goths wear black clothes all the time, paint their skin a pale shade, to contrast their clothes, and wear bright shades of red. The traditional gothics decorated themselves with jewellery bearing religious significances, as the belief in Dracula and vampires emerged in the Victorian period. Today, it is a trend to wear studded crosses, or crosses made of black metal either as neck chokers, or earrings.
Modern goths also wear bright monotones to show their patronage of a certain style or order of the goths. They can be seen in neon shades of green, pink, and yellow, often sporting piercings, and matching hair. Their tastes are metallic, and they have an uncanny love for tattoos.
Designers consistently include gothic tastes and styles in their clothing lines to create inclusivity for this subculture. Being gothic, or identifying with them is somewhat a concern even in today's society, and such people are often stigmatised to the extent that it is considered a mental illness associated with the dark arts. The phenomenon is mostly observed in teenagers, and often phases out when they reach adulthood, depending on their sphere of influence.
Keywords: Gothic, Fashion, Victorian, Black, Jewellery