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In a Country where Employment is Struggle, Jharkhand Tribal School Dropouts train for Overseas Jobs

Teachers and students live on the campus which also has a huge vegetable garden maintained by trainees

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School children, (representational Image). Wikimedia

Bundu (Jharkhand), May 28, 2017: In a country where millions of degree holders struggle for employment, Dayanidhi Pradhan, 23, a Class 8 dropout in Jharkhand, dreams of an overseas job.

And achieving that aspiration is a real possibility — thanks to a multi-trade skill development institute that has placed hundreds of tribal youths in foreign countries.

Pradhan and over 100 others are currently enrolled for short-term skill training in various trades like electric fitting, plumbing, AC ductman and pipe fitting at the Kalyan Gurukul, housed in a sprawling green campus in this town, some 40 km from Ranchi.

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“Gurukul in Bundu has a history of placing almost all of its students abroad,” Pradhan told IANS, remembering how his peers — Boodhu Munda, Gopal Munda and Shahnawaz Bhai, who were also skilled at the institute — are now working in the Gulf.

Most of the tribal youth working in the Gulf had not even visited Ranchi, the state capital, he said.

Kalyan Gurukul is run by PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation (PARFI), sponsored by the state government and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) of the government of India.

The institute began operations in October 2013 with a batch of 19 with the aim of training tribal youth as well as those from other economically-backward sections of society who had dropped out of schools. The government has opened 10 similar training centres across the state.

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All these institutes — that are much like ITIs — are called “Gurukul”, replicating not only the name but also a strict regime of discipline and time management of ancient Indian schools.

Teachers and students live on the campus which also has a huge vegetable garden maintained by trainees.

Every morning starts with yoga, meditation, prayers and a healthy breakfast before classes begin.

The Bundu centre is headed by ex-servicemen Pramod Kumar Pandey, who said “patriotic values” coupled with life skills, including financial and credit literacy, are part of the training programme.

“Students enrolled in Gurukul have to pay a basic fee of Rs 18,000 provided through a loan financing scheme with NABARD. Repayment starts once the student gets a placement,” Pandey told IANS.

Many of Gurukul students now work in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, he said.

“We hone skills of the students according to the contemporary needs of the market. Since inception, we have placed around 276 students in Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka. The latest batch of around 104 students have also been selected by recruiters and are waiting to go to various Gulf countries.”

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 Gangadhar Munda’s brother Boodhu Munda — a Gurukul alumnus — works in Dubai.

The tribesman from Hesu said the “entire village”, in Hesu hills, was proud of his brother who went abroad “and secured a good future despite belonging to a poor family and being a school dropout”.

“Boodhu went to Dubai around seven months ago. He sends us money every month. Our financial status is getting better now and we are be able to educate other children in the family,” Gangadhar told IANS.

“We are getting good marriage proposals for Boodhu,” Gangadhar quipped.

Tarun Shukla, an IIT alumnus and a member of PARFI, said the first Gurukul was opened at Gumla in Jharkhand in 2010 to involve unemployed youth, who were potential recruits for Maoists.

“The infrastructure and other support for Gurukul are given by the government while its operation and maintenance are done through PARFI. We have a tie-up with business conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group to place students in the Gulf countries,” Shukla told IANS.

He said more focus was now being given on skill development with the help of a separate Ministry for Skill Development and NSDC.

“NSDC plays a significant role in the functioning of Gurukul as it standardises the course curriculum. Secondly, with NSDC, one can now find employers, trainers, content developers and job-seekers on one platform,” he said.

Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma said the Gurukul model was providing the platform of better employability for under-privileged and under-educated youth of the state.

“In the next two years, we are planning to expand these Gurukul centres in all the 24 Jharkhand districts with a training capacity of 10,000 youth,” Verma told IANS.

She said generating employment was a huge priority of the state government.

“Labour-intensive industries like food processing, leather and textiles are our main focus; we will use the Jharkhand Skill Development Mission and Gurukul model to create youth who are pre-trained before employment,” she said. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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World Suicide Prevention Day: Bollywood celebrities Hrithik Roshan and Karan Johar lend their support to suicide prevention

Hrithik said, "On World Suicide Prevention Day, make a pledge to listen, and save a life"

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Hrithik Roshan and Karan Johar support suicide prevention
Hrithik Roshan and Karan Johar support suicide prevention. IANS
  • Hrithik shared a link of a video which depicted that one should listen to a person for saving lives
  • In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day join the #EarForYou movement. Listen it can save a life
  • Empower individuals and their families dealing with mental health disorders

Mumbai, September 10, 2017: Bollywood celebrities Karan Johar and Hrithik Roshan have come out in support of preventing suicide in the country on the occasion of World Suicide Prevention Day 2017.

Hrithik on Saturday shared a link of a video, which depicted that one should listen to a person for saving lives.

“On World Suicide Prevention Day, make a pledge to listen, and save a life,” Hrithik captioned the video.

Karan also shared the same link and wrote a similar caption for the video. He also tagged Neerja Birla, Founder, and Chairperson of Mpower, The Aditya Birla World Academy, and The Aditya Birla Integrated School.

Neerja Birla has started with the campaign and wrote on her Twitter account: “In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day join the #EarForYou movement. Listen it can save a life.”

According to the official page of Mpower, their aim is “to empower individuals and their families dealing with mental health disorders by raising awareness, alleviating stigma, advocating prevention, fostering education, and providing world class holistic services, so that they can lead meaningful and productive lives, with respect and dignity.” (IANS)

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Assam Government signs a MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity

It will provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam

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Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity
Assam Government has signed MoU with Google India to expand Internet Connectivity. Pixabay

Guwahati, Assam, September 8, 2017: The Assam government on Thursday signed a MoU with Google India to take Internet connectivity to the remotest part of the north-eastern state.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the government would work to provide Internet connections to 26,000 villages and 1,500 tea garden areas in Assam under the MoU and thus increase digital literacy.

Information Technology Secretary Nitin Khare and Google India Country Head (Policy) Chetan Krishnaswami signed the Memorandum of Understanding in the presence of Sonowal.

“Technology rules the roost in the 21st century and the state government has upped the ante to use technology to carry forward the fruits of development to the remotest parts of Assam,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the ties with Google was a way forward to strongly pitch Guwahati as a natural gateway to the South-East Asian countries.

Sonowal said his government in sync with the Centre was working for the success of Startup initiative but the success of such programmes sans technology would be a distant dream.

“The MoU will be used as a launchpad to achieve the state government’s vision of women empowerment, skill development, and universal education,” he said.

The Chief Minister asked the Information Technology Department to take steps to make technology acceptable and favourable among the rural populace so as to catalyse rural development. (IANS)