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Auto-rickshaw driver takes humanity to new heights, disposes claimed/unclaimed bodies

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Bhubaneshwar: An auto-rickshaw driver, also a school dropout, took humanity and service to society on a whole new level by disposing of claimed and unclaimed bodies; living his life on the motto “Service to mankind is service to God”.

Meet Pradeep Kumar Prusty, the unknown friend of the dead, who has made it his life’s mission to ensure they get a dignified burial. He is always the first to come forward to recover or collect corpses found along the railway tracks, roads and bodies hanging from trees in this Odisha capital and on its outskirts.

Prusty, 40, is always there for the police to collect the bodies and take them to the mortuary for identification and autopsy.

“When I was in school, I used to visit the municipality hospital nearby my school to get digestive tablets as they tasted sweet. I would see the agony of the family members who could not dispose of the bodies of their near and dear due to lack of money. That inspired me to help these poor people,” Prusty, who has studied till the ninth grade, told reporters.

Hailing from Bhubaneswar’s Bhimtangi neighborhood, Prusty has disposed off 600-700 claimed and unclaimed bodies since 2009, when he started the noble service.

He is called every time a claimed or unclaimed body is found in the city. Believing in humanity, he never hesitates to collect corpses found on tracks or an unclaimed decomposed body. He is there at a call to extend his helping hand to the police.

His job, however, does not end there. He is with a mission “to ensure the dignity of the dead.” He provides all possible help to people who need help to perform the last rites and the cremation of their loved ones.

“I earn about Rs 7000 to Rs 8000 monthly by driving an auto-rickshaw in the city. I spend half of the money for collection and cremation of the bodies and another half for the family,” said Prusty, who has a son and a daughter. While his son is studying in Class 8, his daughter is in Class 12. His wife is a homemaker.

He said when he falls short of money, he collects funds from the people to dispose of the corpses, adding that about Rs 2000 is required for the cremation of dead bodies.

Irrespective of the jurisdiction of the administration and class, creed, caste, class or colour, he is always there in the true letter and spirit of a good Samaritan.

And, he never demands anything in return.

Much prior to the state government’s free ambulance service, Prusty started one in 2007.

“I sold off my ambulance after it broke down. I had no money to repair it. So, I had no option but to sell it off,” said the good Samaritan.

Not surprisingly, his social work has earned him much felicitation and awards of appreciation from many organizations. (Chinmaya Dehury, IANS)

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Humanity’s days are numbered, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will cause mass extinction, warns Stephen Hawking

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Scientist Stephen Hawking giving his views on the danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Scientist Stephen Hawking giving his views on the danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

London, Nov 3: Earth is becoming too small and humanity is bound to self-destruct, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) replacing us as the dominant being on the planet, according to scientist Stephen Hawking.

Professor Hawking says that our time on Earth is numbered after we passed the point of “no return”.

The theoretical physicist says that developments in AI have been so great that the machines will one day be more dominant than human beings, express.co.uk reported.

He told Wired Magazine: “I fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself.

“This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans.”

Hawking, 75, said that humans need to leave Earth if we are to continue as a species.

He said a new space programme should be humanity’s top priority “with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation”.

This will allow us to leave Earth and colonise another planet to ensure our survival, otherwise there will be “serious consequences”.

Professor Hawking added: “I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”

Last year, at the opening of Cambridge University’s artificial intelligence centre, Professor Hawking said that AI could either be the best or worst invention humanity has ever made.

“This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans.”

“The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge. We cannot predict what we might achieve, when our own minds are amplified by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one – industrialisation.

“And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed, In short, success in creating AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.

“But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.” (IANS)

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Sexism is Real and Men Face it too!

While women tend to pay heed to such remarks, sexism directed towards men goes largely unnoticed. Read on to know if you have been making sexist remarks towards your male counterparts

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sexism
Sexism is unbridled in the Indian society and (finally) being talked about. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 9, 2017 : Society has a huge role to play in the person that we become. And sometimes, that may not be the right way to go about it.

More often than not, society forces us to be somebody we are not. A woman belongs in the kitchen, a man is not supposed to cry; who established these ground rules to function in the society?

Sexism is real, and men face it too (surprise!)

“Man up!”

“Don’t be such a girl!”

Men are always expected to display vigor and anger; their insecurities are rarely taken into account and would rather be pushed under a rug that the society largely identifies as ‘masculinity’.

We keep reminding men that they should not wear pink, that they cannot cry, and that they are only supposed to express their emotions in a certain way. We tell them to ‘not be such a girl’, to shake off their fears and ‘man up’ and to always take charge. And this never stops.

But what we are forgetting here is that men have emotions too; even when the society does not allow them to emote explicitly.

These expressions and understanding are so entrenched in daily communiqué that sometimes we fail to realize when we are making a sexist remark.

Yes, sexism is unbridled in the Indian society and (thankfully) being talked about.

While women tend to pay heed to such remarks, sexism directed towards men goes largely unnoticed.

Here are a few subtle hints to how sexism has become a part of everyday life for men,

sexism
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey 2016, 38 % victims of sexual violence were men.

Men are often faced with questions like “why didn’t you fight her?”, and made jokes on how they must have enjoyed it because why wouldn’t anybody enjoy a sexual encounter that essentially has ‘no strong attached’.

People in the 21st century fail to realize the real, societal damage that women who sexually assault men, cause to the society.

 

 

sexism
The society largely looks down upon the men who earn less than their ‘weaker’ counterparts.

The man is supposed to be the ‘provider’ of the family, earning most of the money. For many men, it feels like a hard slap when women earn more money.

Because if they aren’t earning a living for their family, how can they be a “true” man?

 

 

sexism
The society places unnecessary expectations on boys from a young age. Boys can only be ‘strong’, and ‘big’. Why cant they be sensitive and soft?

Sexism places men and women in stereotypical roles- women are ‘naturally’ kind, compassionate and sensitive, while the men are ‘naturally’ more rational, and stronger, physically and mentally.

 

 

Sexism
There is no denying that girls are body shamed,;but assuming that they are ‘weak’ and hence not self-sufficient is taking that to the next level.

People say this to boys all the time and must be immediately stopped because it increasingly encourages the mindset that girls are inherently weak.

Even when the tone of such sexist comments is compassionate- sometimes even flattering, they are indicative of a stereo-typically narrow and insulting worldview.

 

 

Sexism
Not only is it unnatural to discourage men from undertaking work that they are passionate about, it is also dangerous.

Despite the cliche that art is a universal language, artists are interpreted very differently in terms of their gender. The unease and suspicion that accompany a male artist, irrespective of what art form he practices, are often based out of society’s view of the body and a larger understanding of ‘masculinity’.

 

 

Sexism
Suggesting that boys and girls should be held to different behaviors is dowright demeaning, not to ignore dangerous.

The dominant idea about what a ‘real’ man should be include behaviors such as dominance, control, assertiveness, and emotional unresponsiveness. The society continues to think that men ‘do not do work’, but instead they ‘get work done’ by their weaker counterparts-the women.

While circumstances continue to evolve for the better, in the larger society, there still is a special place in the society  for men who get angry- they are looked upon with reverence. No one points out their anger issues, or frowns upon them. It seems like arrogance and aggression are the only two emotions that men can acceptably show; that these are the only emotions that a man today is capable of showing.

We need to understand that men no longer have to ‘man up’. Instead, let them be a little more human


 

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‘I am HIV-Positive. So What?’: This New Book can Boost Morale for HIV-Positive People

The book is based on the life of an international bodybuilding champion Khundrakpam Pradipkumar Singh hailing from Manipur

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HIV-Positive
HiV Aids symbol is a red ribbon. Wikimedia
  • “I am HIV-Positive, So What?” is a book written by Jayanta Kalita, a journalist 
  • The book has been published by Bloomsbury publications
  • It talks about the struggles of HIV-Positive people to stay in the society and not be sidelined

New Delhi, August 19, 2017: In a society where HIV patients are very often forced into seclusion, a new book titled “I Am HIV-Positive, So What?” promises to raise new hopes among the silent sufferers.

The book, authored by journalist Jayanta Kalita and published by Bloomsbury, was launched on Friday at an event organised at the Press Club of India here.

The book is based on the life of an international bodybuilding champion Khundrakpam Pradipkumar Singh hailing from Manipur, who was diagnosed HIV-positive.

“His mission was to break the stereotype that an HIV person cannot be part of society. Even after his HIV status becoming public through the media, Singh remained undaunted in the face of all odds,” Kalita said at the event.

The book speaks of the incredible journey of the HIV-positive person, who mended his failing health, overcame psychological trauma, and fought stigma and discrimination to pursue his dreams.

“He was determined to excel in his chosen field despite warnings from doctors and adverse comments from the society,” the author added. (IANS)