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Decimation and Missing of Hindus in south Asia

The population of Hindus has declined at an exponential rate in about last 50 years.

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Hinduism in Australia
A ritual in Hinduism. Wikimedia

There was recently an article published at dailyo.in titled “The missing Hindus in South Asia and a conspiracy of silence” by Saswati Sarkar. She laments that Indian media is quick to cover all kinds of international events, be it Arab Spring or Gaza conflict or beautification of saints at the Vatican. But it is surprisingly silent to the genocide of Hindus at the global level and more closely in their vicinity,ie, neighboring countries. Seh says that there a ‘conspiracy of silence’ in our media regarding decimation and missing of Hindus in south Asia region.

According to Sarkar, our neighbors such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Myanmar have done a commendable job in eradicating the very essence of Hinduism in their respective countries. She adds that starting off with the scandalous episodes we have Pakistan on our list at the top. When it comes to India, Pakistan is the mother of all conspiracies.

Pakistan: A closer look

The population of Hindus has declined at an exponential rate in about last 50 years. As mentioned by Saswati Sarkar“ In 1947, Hindus constituted about 15 percent of the population of West Pakistan (current Pakistan); by 1998, it is about 1.6 percent “ Thanks to all the social and legal discrimination which exists there. Some of them are as follows

  • Only Muslims are allowed to stand for presidential/prime ministerial candidate.
  • Targeting Hindus via court harsh punishments such as death sentences through Blasphemy laws.
  • Not giving any family-related laws to non-Muslims.
  • Promoting hatred against minorities in through academics (via schools and Madrasas).
  • Forcing women and girls to change religions.
  • Even temples have not been spared .Stone idols were smashed off. One of the most sacred places such as Hinglaj Mata temple was also targeted. As a result, many Hindus are now taking refuge abroad with no hope left behind.

Bangladesh: A closer look

Coming off to the next episode we focus towards Bangladesh. Continuing the legacy of killing Hindus it has performed indeed well.

  • Simply in the name of Hindu women are raped here.
  • Girls are sold.
  • People have been forced to leave the nation (especially Bengali’s Hindus).
  • Spiritual festivals such as Durga Puja are targeted and people are decimated.
  • Enemies’ this is the term used there to refer Hindus community.

Bhutan and Malaysia: A closer look

Coming next on the list we infer countries are Bhutan and Malaysia .They make look small but they are no behind.

  • Nearly 100,000 Hindus have been expelled alone from Bhutan.
    Policies such as Bhumiputra have affected a major chunk of Hindus in Malaysia.
Traditions in Hindus community Wikimedia Commons
Traditions in Hindus community, Wikimedia Commons

Hats off to our government and Media for playing a major part in adding to their misery. Right under their nose all these decimations were taking place and they remained as mute spectators. We didn’t even bother to give help to the officially declared Refugees. Neither did we care about raising these issues in United Nations. Thanks to our present Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and some leaders such as Shivraj Singh Chauhan who showed special concern towards these needy people.

  • Fast track process of Indian citizenship.
  • Private jobs will now be offered to these refugees.
  • Unlike us (home to the largest democracy) leaders from the US such as Tulsi Gabbard and Aaron Schock have stepped up in eradicating these atrocities on minorities.
  • Protests have been organised in Washington DC for a help of those people in the name of humanity.

Sarkar laments that it is a matter of shame for us for turning a blind eye to those brothers and sisters of ours. Even on our own soil Kashmiris Pandits have been killed in large figures and were forced to eat beef.

Related article : Plight of Kashmiri Pandits

Role of media

Sarkar then takes in the Media. Uncovering our media, they were expected to do something regarding all these horror acts. Some of which are mentioned as follows-

  • Leaders such as Zafar Ali Khan put forward his notion that no Sikhs shall live in Pakistan.
    • Adding to the fact 7 million Sikhs and Hindus were eradicated from Pakistan.
    • Nearly 10,000 to 20,000 were killed in Sheikhpura district and 7000 Hindus were killed in Rawalpindi district.
Distribution of Hindus in Pakistan, Wikimedia Commons
Distribution of Hindus in Pakistan, Wikimedia Commons
  • Tortures were commonly practised such as-
    • Cutting off Nipples
    • Ripping of wombs of pregnant women and destroying their foetus.
    • Inserting of rods in private parts of women.
  • Children were even burnt alive and were often thrown to swords.

India Today did cover the misery of Rinkle Kumari in 2012. It did receive some coverage. Such is the irony that small media groups and sites with much fewer resources compared to rich Indian media have collected and published more facts. And our own media is standing numbly in front of them with nothing in their hand. When it came to a killing of a Muslim in Pune or be it Gujarat riots coverage or any martial persecution or be it Slapping of the civil servant by any political leader or the conversation of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism. These are well covered and are projected by our media but when it comes to the killing of Hindus by a Muslim or raping of a girl by a Muslim or be it brutal torturing of Lt Col Purohit or burning of Hindus homes by Muslims mobs or Torturing of national level Indian shooter Tara Sahedo our media becomes silent. In Tripura NLFT (National Liberation Front of Tripura) has banned Hindu festivals and has used rape as a tool to force Hindus to listen to their atrocities.

As mentioned by the writer herself “It is telling that my references for the terror allegedly fomented by the church in India’s North East have been BBC, and not Indian media reports.” even I got a major help by non-Indian media sources rather than our own media giants. It is therefore high time that our government along with our media should introspect so that this brutal killing of minorities (mainly Hindus) be stopped in regions such as South Asia.

Prepared by Pritam

Pritam is a 3rd year engineering student in B.P. Poddar institute of management and technology, Kolkata. A simple person who tries to innovate and improvise himself. Twitter handle @pritam_gogreen

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United States Faces a Massive Shortage of Health Care Professionals

One-third of currently active doctors in the country will reach retirement age

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United States, Health Care Professionals
For those looking to find opportunity in the United States, while helping fill a critical shortage, obstacles remain. Pixabay

Roberta Boltz keeps her doors unlocked at night. The former coal mine worker says it is just one perk of living in the small Pennsylvania town of Hegins.

But last Christmas morning, she had her first epileptic seizure, and her only worry about rural life took center stage: access to health care. There is no hospital in her community of 812 residents, and she says she does not trust the one closest to her.

“I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t send their dog to that hospital,” Boltz said. “They’re so understaffed.”

Seated upright in a platinum nightgown, with gauze covering her thin forehead, Boltz recently made the one-hour commute to Danville, Pennsylvania’s, eight-story, 559-bed Geisinger Medical Center to receive care, as she has done during several critical life moments. Geisinger treated her son’s Crohn’s disease when he was a child, and more recently, after her husband suffered a heart attack.

United States, Health Care Professionals
A resident of Danville, Pennsylvania crosses Mill Street, one of the town’s main roads. VOA

Located beside a 300-acre forest, Danville is not much more urban than Hegins. With a population of 4,631, it could not by itself support a hospital this size that serves all of central Pennsylvania and has grappled with its own issue of filling medical staff positions.

Geisinger has tried to solve its own staffing problem by hiring immigrants from Jamaica, India, the Philippines, South Korea, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and others — many of whom have come to live in a borough (town) that is 94% white.

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In interviews with VOA, Geisinger staff referred to the nursing shortage crisis as one of its biggest supply-and-demand challenges. Despite being the region’s “employer of choice,” they say local talent recruitment alone has fallen short of their needs.

Big shortage

The entire United States faces a massive shortage of health care professionals over the next decade, including up to 120,000 physicians by 2030. One-third of currently active doctors in the country will reach retirement age during that span.

Unless the health care workforce gap is addressed, rural areas are likely to bear the brunt of its effects, says Andrew Lim, director of quantitative research at New American Economy, a bipartisan research organization.

“If you look at urban areas, there are over 200 doctors per 100,000 people. But if you look at rural counties, the number of doctors to go around is much less — something like 82 for every 100,000,” Lim told VOA.

United States, Health Care Professionals
Geisinger Medical Center employs 6,200 employees, more than doubling the size of Danville, Pennsylvania when fully staffed. VOA

The population of Danville more than doubles when Geisinger — with its 6,200 employees — is fully staffed. Among the workers: 415 internationally trained physicians and 57 foreign-born registered nurses.

“Not only is Geisinger trying to recruit (international nurses), many other health systems are,” Julene Campion, vice president of human resources at Geisinger, told VOA. “We could probably use another 100 easily (across the Geisinger network), but there aren’t enough available.”

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“We’ve outgrown our ability to supply,” added Crystal Muthler, Geisinger’s vice president of nursing — a 30-year veteran.

The community’s needs, combined with an aging workforce, she says, are ultimately what led Geisinger to reevaluate its staffing model and implement an international nurse initiative in 2018.

“We have to look at how we attract people to the area,” Muthler said.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, health care is projected to be the largest-growing sector of new job creation over the next decade, accounting for more than 1.3 million new jobs, roughly one-third of them for registered nurses.

United States, Health Care Professionals
Jamaica-native Hemoy Drummond brings 13 years of nursing experience to Danville, Pennsylvania. VOA

But for those looking to find opportunity in the United States, while helping fill a critical shortage, obstacles remain.

Doctors have been impacted by the Trump administration’s travel ban, while some health aides and nursing assistants could be barred from getting a green card.

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It is unclear whether Trump’s new immigration plan, announced on May 16, will help health care staffing. The merit-based system would favor immigrants who fall into broad “high-skill” categories, including “professional and specialized vocations,” at the cost of family-based and humanitarian immigrant visas.

‘Kindness is my language’

Even now, foreign-born health care professionals represent more than their share of the overall U.S. population; 14.7% of nurses and 22.7% of health aides are immigrants, according to NAE, compared to 13.7% of the population as a whole.

Thirty-five-year-old Hemoy Drummond, a recent Geisinger hire from Jamaica, has an EB-3 employment-based immigrant visa. She has 13 years of experience as a registered nurse.

 

“I was very nervous. It was a new setting, new expectations,” Drummond said. “But when I got here, I realized that people are kind. … I said, ‘That’s my language.'”

United States, Health Care Professionals
Hemoy Drummond says her two daughters, ages 9 and 4, have quickly adapted to a new lifestyle in rural Pennsylvania. VOA

Danville, with its lush hillsides and nearby cornfields, reminds her of the sugar cane fields her father harvested in her native Clarkstown, Jamaica. Her community is safe. The mother of two can walk home alone after a late shift.

The nursing work is easier in Danville than in a short-staffed Montego Bay hospital.

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“It’s easier to care for four to six (patients at Geisinger) than 18 (in Jamaica),” Drummond said. “I love to talk with (patients) that extra minute.”

Willing to stay

In town, locals generally welcome — or at least tolerate — their new international neighbors.

“They’re magnificent!” remarked one woman on Danville’s Mill Street. “We’d be stupid not to let them into our country.”

Two hours southeast of Danville, along the Susquehanna River in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, views are more mixed. A foreign-born doctor described Chambersburg as “where blue meets red.”

United States, Health Care Professionals
Dr. Raghav Tirupathi, an India-native physician, speaks with patient Elizabeth Jobes in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. VOA

Yet Chambersburg Hospital, too, has been trying to solve its health care staffing problems with immigrants.

In Chambersburg, population 20,878, VOA spoke with 10 foreign-born doctors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Poland and Hungary. Nine of them expressed a willingness to remain in rural Pennsylvania long term, including Indian physicians affected by a per-country green card backlog that has placed their families’ future in limbo.

​U.S.-born physicians do not want to go to Chambersburg, much less stay, explained Dr. Golam Mostofa, chairman of the department of hospital medicine at Chambersburg Hospital.

“Fifty percent of our hospital medicine physicians are foreign graduates,” Mostofa said. “If we interview 10 American graduates, maybe one shows up.”

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Dr. Muhammad Khokhar, a gastroenterologist from Lahore, Pakistan, has been in Chambersburg for 16 years. He remains committed to the town, even after his sixth grade daughter’s classmates at a Montessori school accused her of making bombs.

“(When) you have invested so much in the community, and you have built up relationships with your partners and the practice, it’s difficult,” Khokhar said.

“I’m here,” he added. “This is my retirement place.” (VOA)