In a bizarre and outrageous ruling by a village council in Rajasthan, a woman whose husband ran off with the neighbour’s wife has been ordered to live with the abandoned man or pay him compensation
After his wife and two children disappeared with his neighbour Kalulal Meghwal, Rajendra Meghwal approached the council in the desert state of Rajasthan for help, a case the police is investigating.
Kalulal’s wife Mamta has alleged that the council or khap panchayat has ordered her to pay Rajendra 300,000 rupees ($4,775) in compensation for her husband’s actions or move in with Rajendra.
The officers have started questioning council members in Bundi district after Mamta filed a harassment complaint with the police.
Local police officer Sanjay Kumar told AFP, “The woman was not present in the khap meeting but she complained to us that she has been asked to pay money or live with Rajendra.”
It was unclear whether the woman was asked to live with him as his spouse or as his employee in the house.
Branded as ‘kangaroo courts’ by their critics, Khap panchayats have no legal recognition and have been held blamed for sanctioning honour killings of women, public beatings and other harsh punishments for perceived crimes.
BY ARCHANA SHARMA A COVID-care centre in Dungarpur district of Rajasthan has emerged as a role model by setting up new benchmarks as it offers music, meditation, aerobics along with the choicest of menu for the people staying here!
Called as Parda Chundawat Quarantine Centre, it has set example by creating a serene environment where people wake up listening to soothing music. Then, there are Yoga and meditation classes where they exercise to shoo off negativity from their mind.
In fact, the daily schedule of those admitted here is quite impressive. They wake up listening to melodious bhajans at 6 a.m. Soon after, there are two yoga classes — one for the people who love to do indoor exercise while the other for those who are interested to do yoga under open sky.
All guidelines of social distancing are followed by the people while performing yoga.
Soon after Yoga, they go for aerobics where they stretch their body rhythmically on different music beats. Thereafter, they get breakfast of their choice and are served lunch in the afternoon. As they take nap in afternoon, the evening time at 5 p.m. awaits for another interesting activity where they listen to their favourite songs of renowned singers including Kishore Kumar, Rafi, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar amongst others, while sitting together.
Special games and activities are available for kids which include spelling, synonyms, pronunciation, painting etc. Kids find this environment really engaging, says Sabhla sub divisional officer Manish Faujdar who is in charge of this centre.
Also, there are psychological experts who help in counselling. “People coming here are quite worried about their future life, their spouses and families. These counsellors help them connect to meditation with scientific facts which make them feel joyful and relieves them of their stress,” says Chhaya Choubisa, assistant director, Information and public relations, Dungarpur.
Faujdar says that when admitted, these people were quite aggrieved and angry. “We saw an unseen fear in their eyes and mind. Therefore, we introduced a few activities which can make them relieved from their stress, offering mental peace to them. We wanted to divert their attention and hence launched music therapy. We connected the music system to youTube where there were bhajans in morning, filmy songs in the evening and Aarti and patriotic songs later. Eventually, their anger vanished and they look joyful now with no stress or anger seen amongst them.”
Rajasthan is leveraging technology extensively to enable stranded students in Kota to return to their homes.
So far, more than 27,000 students have been re-partriated, out of which 12215 are from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, 2,813 from Madhya Pradesh, 342 from Gujarat, 3,000 from Bengal, 2000 from Maharashtra and 38 from Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
Similarly, 2,200 students hailing from Rajasthan have been sent to their respective native districts.
District Administration is providing end-to-end support which includes data collection, state-wise sorting of the data and location-wise sorting of the number of students from each state so that the government can arrange transportation for these students. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has appealed to the respective state governments to come forward to help these students to return their homes on humanitarian grounds.
“It is our duty to send kids back to their home. These are teenagers living away from their parents and preparing for examinations. We do not want them to struggle with anxiety due to lock down and hence we are putting all the efforts to make sure they reach back home safely. We have been co-ordinating with all the CMs of other States as well to ensure safety and security of the children,” said the Chief Minister.
The CM added, “The government has been working to bring migrant labourers in other States back home as well.”
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“Kota is the city which is the education capital of India and students from all the 35 states and union territories come here to study and fulfill their dreams, we requested the ministry of home affairs to prepare guidelines so that we can send back the kids to their home all the governments from various States have coordinated well enough and more than 70% of kids have been sent back home in a great manner and a very safe manner,” said Om Birla, Speaker, Lok Sabha.
As a first step of the repatriation process, students are required to fill in the Form created by administration which is sent to all students. The students are required to provide their name contact number, state district and boarding location and coaching ID proof. Team is actively compiling and sorting the data according to the states. After data sorting, buses are being organised wrt number of students per boarding locations and students is notified of its reporting time. (IANS)
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.
India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.
Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.
“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.
India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.
Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.
Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.
Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.
According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.