Tuesday November 21, 2017

What if Another Gorakhpur Tragedy Happens? 15-Year-Old Khushi Chandra Launches Initiative ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to Combat Oxygen-Related Emergencies

Through her initiative Oxygen Gorakhpur, Khushi Chandra aims to raise funds for a continuous supply of oxygen to several under-resourced hospitals in Gorakhpur.

Gorakhpur Tragedy
15 year old Khushi Sharma believes no child must be denied the right to live, or the right to breathe for which she has set up the charity 'Oxygen Gorakhpur'. VOA
  • Gorakhpur tragedy shook the entire nation starting early August after numerous children suffering from brain inflammation died in absence of oxygen
  • Over 290 children have died at BRD hospital, including 77 reported deaths from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome
  • Khushi Chandra launched ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’ to offer assistance and provision of oxygen cylinders in case of emergencies

Gorakhpur, August 30, 2017: Child after child collapsed at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College in early August as the hospital ran out of oxygen supplies. Words fall short to mourn the deaths of over 60 children, among them several new born babies, or to slam the negligence of the hospital authorities in what has come to be known as the ‘Gorakhpur Tragedy’. As figures continue to soar even after a month, the tragedy has triggered gigantic uproar across the country. This prompted a teenager from Uttar Pradesh to launch a charity named ‘OXYGEN GORAKHPUR’.

The 15-year old face behind the not-for-profit organization ‘Oxygen Gorakhpur’, Khushi Chandra believes the Gorakhpur tragedy could have been prevented.

“This is very personal for me as it happened right at my doorstep. No child can be denied the right to life, and in this case, the right to breathe,” she said as she pioneered her righteous cause.

The organization aims to provide a secure and continues the supply of oxygen to indigent patients and hospitals across Gorakhpur in an attempt to meet sufficient requirements of the hospitals.

The organization aims to function on three dominant parameters-

  • Providing oxygen cylinders to hospitals during emergency
  • Reaching out to the needy by providing timely assistance
  • Build a strong oxygen-bank to provide round the clock support to hospitals

In the coming future, Oxygen Gorakhpur also aims to allocate oxygen provision vans for the transportation and delivery of oxygen cylinders to hospitals.

Horrific pictures of parents holding corpses of infants spanned across screens throughout mid-August with parents claiming they had died due to lack of oxygen in Gorakhpur’s Bada Raghav Das Medical(BRD) College after suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and Japanese Encephalitis, two diseases that are common in India, especially during the monsoons

The Gorakhpur tragedy has exposed the harsh reality of Uttar Pradesh’s flawed public healthcare system out in the open.

Through Oxygen Gorakhpur, Khushi intends to ensure that this does not happen again, and instill a sense of citizenship and responsibility towards the larger society, among the youth and adults alike while also ensuring improvement of conditions of hospitals and their amenities.

ALSO READ: Top Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s Speech on India’s 71st Independence Day

Additionally, the initiative will serve and protect the youth by exhibiting support, and encouragement while also empowering citizens to be the change-makers of today.

“As an accountable citizen of my city and the country, I feel responsible towards ensuring such tragedies do not happen again”, she said as per a report by ANI.

According to latest reports by PTI, over 290 children have died at the hospital from August 1 to August 28, including 77 reported deaths from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Chandra also observed that the Indian government’s expenditure on public health services makes up for less than 1 per cent of the GDP, which is among the world’s lowest figures. However, she is hopeful as the Modi-led government has increased spending on health services, with an underlying aim to make healthcare more affordable and available.

Chandra feels help must immediately be provided to under-resourced hospitals and must be maintained in the long run.

“I seek support from other like-minded citizens to join hands to ensure that oxygen never runs out in our hospitals” are Khushi’s words on Oxygen Gorakhpur’s official website.

Citizens can extend their support to this noble initiative by buying an oxygen cylinder, contributing funds or spreading the word about the project.



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Doing business in India easier now: Modi

Doing business in India easier now: Modi

New Delhi, November 3, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited global investors to do business in India, which he said was “easier now” after his government repealed archaic laws and launched attractive fiscal incentives.

Describing India as “one of the fastest growing economies” in the world, Modi said it was an opportune time for global businesses to invest in the country.

 “India has jumped 30 ranks this year in the World Bank’s (Ease of) Doing Business rankings. India was ranked number one in the world in 2016 in greenfield investment.

“India is also rapidly progressing on the Global Innovation Index, Global Logistics Index and Global Competitiveness Index,” Modi told the gathering of global businessmen at the inauguration of World Food India 2017 here.

Billed as the biggest congregation of global investors and business leaders of major food companies, the three-day event aims to transform the food economy and realise the government’s vision of doubling famers’ income by establishing India as a preferred investment destination and sourcing-hub for the global food processing industry.

“Private sector participation has been increasing in many segments of the value chain. However, more investment is required in contract farming, raw material sourcing and creating agri-linkages. This is a clear opportunity for global chains.”

Modi said India offered single window clearance for investors and had launched attractive fiscal incentives.

“There are opportunities in post-harvest management, like primary processing and storage, preservation infra, cold chain and refrigerated transportation.

“There is also immense potential for food processing and value addition in areas such as organic and fortified foods.”

He said food processing was a way of life in India that had been practiced for ages.

“Simple, home-based techniques, such as fermentation, have resulted in the creation of our famous pickles, papads, chutneys and murabbas that excite both the elite and the masses across the world.”

Modi said farmers were central to India’s efforts in food processing and as such the government launched the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampada Yojana to create world-class food processing infrastructure.

“This will leverage investment of $5 billion, benefit two million farmers and create more than half a million jobs.”

The food event will host over 2,000 participants and 200 companies from around 30 countries.

Apart from representatives of 28 states, it will also see participation of 18 ministerial and business delegations, nearly 50 global CEOs along with heads of all leading domestic food processing companies.(IANS)

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The Monk with a Mercedes : Tracing Yogi Adityanath’s Journey from a Monk to a Chief Minister | Report Card

Yogi Adityanath completes six months in power as the CM of Uttar Pradesh. We take a look at all that happened, leading to the ultimate assumption of 'the chair' and everything thereafter, by this saffron-clad monk.

Yogi Adityanath
The saffron-clad monk has completed six months in power as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. (IANS)

Uttar Pradesh, September 21, 2017 : On the morning of March 21 this year, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister’s residence at 5 Kalidas Marg, was witnessing an influx of pandits – a practice that was to become a common event in the following days. A monk in a saffron robe was to now lead the people of India’s largest state, not with his Tilak and jhanda, but as a political leader.

Before the world came to know him as Yogi Adityanath, he belonged to a Rajput family- Ajay Singh Bisht, born in a small region of present day Uttarakhand (previously UP) in 1972. A young Ajay attended college in Kotdwara in 1989, and graduated in Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.

It was around the same time that the Ram Mandir movement gained momentum in the country, and a young Ajay was immensely influenced, to the extent that he joined the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP). Ajay had planned to join Gorakhpur University, but fate had other plans.

Yogi And The Gorakhnath Temple

University never happened, however, Gorakhpur continued to be a focal point in his life. Gorakhnath Temple, wasa key point in the Ram Mandir movement as it was the place from where the movement was mobilised to different parts of UP.

The Nath Sampradaya, of which he is a part, does not believe in caste distinctions and Gorakhnath Temple is their biggest shrine.

The mahants of the temple are not Brahmins but Rajputs, which hence, establishes Ajay’s association to the place.

The temple has had a long history of political engagement. Having stayed central throughout the Ram Mandir movement, a number of its mahants have also been a part of political parties.

A four time MLA who had contested from the Maniram constituency, Mahant Avaidyanath had been a member of the Parliament four times from Gorakhpur.

 Yogi Adityanath is the successor of Mahant Avaidyanath. 

He began his political association in 1996, by managing the political campaign of Avaidyanath. In 1998, Yogi Adityanath, upon being coaxed by Mahant Avaidyanath, contested the Lok Sabha polls and won. He was 26 years old at the time.

However, the Yogi merely crawled to victory in the 1999 election by a mere margin of 7,000 votes. Upon witnessing wavering attention from the voters, a true politician was hence, born.

Yogi became active beyond the math (temple complex); he started touring extensively in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh. Drawing upon the Nath sect’s tradition, Yogi facilitated every Hindu caste, thus gained popularity among every caste which created a platform for him.

Yogi Adityanath had not won the first election he ever fought in his life (in college), the reason for which was the absence of elaborate campaigning. He continued to be a little restricted in this regard until the 1999 elections.

However, now he worked on his own weaknesses and appealed to the Hindus in the area, proposing himself as a man of less words, but also somebody who didn’t mince words.

In 2002, differences emerged between Yogi Adityanath and his guru Avaidyanath over an expansion of influence beyond Gorakhpur.

The Yogi, hoping to establish his ideology beyond the region, established a ‘cultural organisation’ by the name of Hindu Yuva Vahini with an intent to curb anti Hindu activities and fight the rising influence of the Maoists.

ALSO READ To Control Crime, rule of law be be established in UP at the Earliest: UP CM Yogi Adityanath


Rifts Between Yogi Adityanath And BJP

Though Yogi was a BJP MP, he has always had a troubled relationship with the party. And although he had never previously occupied a position at the BJP party, he is also known to occupy a central stance in its functioning; dictating terms and influencing decisions.

  • In 2007, the Yogi almost quit BJP ahead of the Assembly elections. However, a compromise was reached and he was given a say on the distribution of tickets in his region. Out of the eight tickets that were given to staunch Yogi supporters, only one won.
  • In 2012, Yogi didn’t once mince words to criticize BJP’s decision over the inclusion of an ex leader of BSP, Babu Singh Khushwaha. Was he inducted, you ask? He wasn’t. Talk about exercising influence.
  • In 2014, Yogi Adityanath was entrusted with the Assembly-by elections in UP, the campaign for which extensively drew upon issues like cow protection and ‘Love Jihad’. However, the party only won 3 seats out of 7, losing them to Samajwadi Party.

Yogi’s Commitment To BJP

Despite an uneasy relationship with the BJP, the saffron-clad Yogi offered dedicated services to the party in the state-Assembly elections held in March this year. He successfully mobilized the Hindu electorate from the lengths and breadths of the state, particularly from western-UP which continues to remain communally stimulated.

ALSO READ My government is committed to fulfil all promises made by BJP in its Election Manifesto: Yogi Adityanath

He addressed election meetings in all parts of the state- like Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, and Shamli district. Draped in garlands, the Yogi was also seen alongside BJP chief Amit Shah campaigning during his road show in Gorakhpur, ahead of BJP’s sweeping victory of eight out of nine seats in the Gorakhpur district. This was when slogans of ‘Jai Sai Ram’ being raised in Muslim-dominated areas made national headlines.

After winning the state-Assembly elections by a landslide (312 out of 403 seats), the BJP on March 18 this year announced Yogi Adityanath as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, thus putting all speculations to rest.

Yogi Adityanath
The rise of the phenomenon called Yogi Adityanath. Twitter

Controversy’s Child Yogi

When Yogi Adityanath assumed the chair of the new CM of UP, his father allegedly advised him to “show respect for all religions”. A Hindu hardliner, the Yogi has a history of inciting religious sentiments with hate speeches,

  • In an undated video from a speech in Azamgarh, the Yogi hit hard with his words upon conversions saying, “If one Hindu girl is converted, we will convert 100 Muslim girls.
  • In 2014, ahead of the International Yoga Day in June, the Yogi asserted the association of Yoga to Hindu mythology and said “those who do not want to practice Yoga can leave Hindustan”
  • In 2015, when actor Shah Rukh Khan asserted the need for freedom of expression in the country, Yogi Adityanath retorted saying, “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that the majority population of the country has made him the star that he is. If they boycott his films, he will have to wander the streets, I think there is no difference between his language and that of Hafiz Saeed (Pakistani terrorist)

The Hindu Yuva Vahini

Adityanath Yogi today represents the tout of BJP that does not shy away from practicing hard Hindutwa. An anti-minority organisation that essentially caters to an ultimate aim to turn India into a Hindu nation.

In his book ‘Yogi Adityanath and the Hindu Yuva Vahini’, author Dhirendra K. Jha asserted that the organisation has, since its inception indulged in communal violence. He outlined in his book that the HYV relied on extremely aggressive and toxic campaigns, that largely included the projection of minorities as the rivals of the Hindus and in turn, overturning every small event into mass communal wars.

Having made communal riots seem normal in Gorakhpur and adjoining areas, the Vahini leaders have never been in the receiving end of warnings from the local administration of the state. The state however, took a disciplinary actions once in 2007 when Yogi Adityanath was arrested for inciting communal passions during the Muharram Tazia procession.

The Hindu Yuva Vahini has always enjoyed a strong hold in Gorakhpur and other parts of Eastern UP, drawing support from the Hindus upon the meat eating (especially cow meat) habits of the Muslim population.

After the Yogi’s appointment as the Chief Minister of UP, the organisation has witnessed rampant expansion of its influence beyond the region, to the extent that RSS and a section of the BJP have raise questions on its functioning.

Lately, the Vahini has been in news for its involvement in Anti-Romeo Squads- a campaign aimed to curb harassment of women but in reality was propaganda to check upon and curtail relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.

Six Months of Yogi Sarkar

Yogi Adityanath has now, completed 6 months of assuming power as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

Upon being sworn in as the chief minister, development and a crime-free state had assumed the top agenda for the new UP government. While there has been developmental improvement as far as new infrastructure is concerned, the state continues to take high in failure of power supply and crime rate with a rise in the number of gang rapes and murder cases. The Yogi’s decision to ban illegal slaughterhouses also instigated debates in the country.

The Yogi’s ‘Anti-Romeo squad’ to protect women and students against harassment was appreciated for the first three months when over 500 cases were registered and tended to. However, eventually the campaign drew controversy when the squad faced accusations of unethical harassment, bribery and moral policing.

Another controversial subject has been farm loan waivers for small and marginal farmers. The government claimed the scheme will offer relief of up to Rs. 1 lakh to about 86 lakh farmers. While debts were waived and certificates given, some farmers have received cheques of Rs 20, Rs 9, and even 1 paisa (Rs. 0.01). This is being termed as the ‘cruelest joke’ of the BJP-led Yogi government.

More recently, the biggest blow during his rule in the state has been the Gorakhpur tragedy when more than sixty children died a painful death due to lack of oxygen supply in BRD Hospital in Gorakhpur. The tragedy triggered an enormous outcry throughout the country with the Centre ordering high level inquiries. The incident also brought backlash on the Yogi-government with Congress holding Yogi Adityanath accountable and demanding him to resign from the power.

To look at the positive side of the Hindutva leader’s rule in Uttar Pradesh, the UP government has paid over Rs 20,000 crore to sugarcane farmers, clearing dues of over 93 per cent of the farmers. The state of roads is also touted to have improved in his rule.

A landmark step has been the Anti-Geo Mafia Portal to counter illegal land-grabbing. The portal has successfully registered complaints followed by subsequent and immediate action against the land-mafias.

Previously, in a media conference in June, Yogi Adityanath had unveiled a booklet ‘100 Din Vishwas Ke’ (100 days of trust), and declared 2017 as ‘Garib Kalyan Varsh’ (year of upliftment of poor)

Indeed, the journey of Adityanath Yogi from a monk to a chief minister has not been less than a phenomenon in itself.


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Crossfire between Rohingya Insurgents and Myanmar Military leaves Hindu Refugees In a Deadlock

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh

Rohingya Hindu refugees
A Rohingya refugee distributes wheat, donated by locals, among other refugees at a camp for the refugees in New Delhi, India.
  • The Hindu refugees, who fled to Bangladesh, have placed their hopes on the Modi  government 
  • The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s Rakhine state
  • The Indian government was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting Rohingya Muslims from the country 

New Delhi, September 21, 2017: The crossfire between Rohingya insurgents and Myanmar’s military has left hundreds of Hindus, who fled to Bangladesh, placing their hopes on the Indian government.

Around 500 Hindus have taken shelter in a cleared-out chicken farm, in a Hindu hamlet in the southeast of Bangladesh. The place is situated at a distance of a couple of miles, where most of the 421,000 Rohingya Muslims, who also fled violence in Myanmar since August 25, have taken abode, mentions the Reuters report.

The Hindu refugees are scared of moving back to their villages in the Buddhist majority Myanmar’s restless Rakhine state. Modi government, meanwhile, is working to make things easier for Hindus, christians, Buddhists, and other minorities from Pakistan and Bangladesh to gain access to Indian citizenship.

“India is also known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus,” said a Hindu refugee, Niranjan Rudra, “We just want a peaceful life in India, not much. We may not get that in Myanmar or here.”

The fellow refugees agreed and shared their desire of getting this message received by the Indian government through media.

The Indian government, however, has declined to comment on hopes of Hindu refugees. it was waiting for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal against the home ministry’s plans of deporting around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India.

Achintya Biswas, a senior member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) also called the World Hindu Council, on the other hand, stated India as the natural destination for the Hindus fleeing Myanmar.

Also readStop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

“Hindu families must be allowed to enter India by the government,” Biswas said, according to a report by Reuters, “Where else will they go? This is their place of origin.”

Biswas said the VHP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, would be submitting a report to the home ministry demanding a new policy that would be allowing Hindu refugees from Myanmar and Bangladesh to seek asylum in India.

While India’s Home Ministry spokesman, K.S. Dhatwalia declined to comment, a senior home ministry official in New Delhi, on the condition of anonymity, mentioned that no Hindu in Myanmar or Bangladesh affected by the violence had approached Indian authorities.

“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus,” the official said.

“Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order.”

Hindus form a small but an established minority in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Rudra along with other Hindu refugees talked about how they fled soon after Rohingya insurgents attacked 30 Myanmar police posts, instigating a fierce military counterattack.

“Our village in Myanmar was surrounded by hundreds of men in black masks on the morning of Aug. 25,” said Veena Sheel, a mother-of-two whose husband works in Malaysia.

“They called some men out and asked them to fight the security forces … a few hours after we heard gunshots,” she added.

Soon after taking office in 2014, the Modi government issued orders stating that no Hindu, or refugees of other minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan would be deemed as illegal immigrants even if they had entered the country without having the required documents, on or before December 31, 2014.

India, indeed, is in a tough situation, where it can’t compromise with the principles it holds being a Secular nation that is always engaged in humanitarian activities, but will also need to keep in mind the potential security threats that might come along with such an act of acceptance.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha