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PART 1: Want a ticket for MCD elections? Pay 2 Crore and get ticket from Aam Aadmi Party

AAP's Mahila Wing feels exploited during Delhi municipal elections. Should the potential of these women be undermined?


– by Naina Mishra

March 5, 2017: AAP’s Mahila Wing feels exploited during Delhi municipal elections.

The buzz is that pay Rupees 2 Crore and collect the ticket.

It seems that degeneration of a value-based political party is on full pace. Now, the tickets even for MCD elections are on full scale. As this audio message in this video shows: “Arre madam, aap se na ho payega. 2 Crore is the asking price.”


While the Delhi Municipal elections are coming round the corner, the atmosphere has begun to heat up with the discontentment of women in Mahila Wing of Aam Aadmi Party. AAP rooted itself as a volunteer based party but as the time fled; the quintessence of the party seems to have withered away. The so called PRO women party has failed to meet the self-proclaimed women empowerment agenda. Prior to the nominations of MCD election, the AAP’s Delhi convener Dilip Pandey announced that they will give tickets to grassroots volunteers only and forbid the dummy volunteers. He further declared 50 percent women reservation and of the 49 seats allotted to the female candidates, three will be from the unreserved category while the rest will be reserved for women. However, the promises claimed by AAP were only as good as an empty rhetoric and is thus fueling as the bone of contention among the women members of Mahila Wing.

The NewsGram reporter has spoken to several volunteers who had left no stone unturned to stand with AAP despite the adverse circumstances. These women are courageous and independent, all together they struggle hard to bring change to the nation. But how demeaning is the Aam Aadmi Party’s approach towards Mahila Wing workers has left the entire race of women at contemplation yet again.

What happened?

Grassroots volunteers have received the tickets by lowest of margins whereas the dummy candidates have marked their way through winning the tickets without even trying. These people have either joined AAP three months prior to the election or are somebody’s mother or wives. The entire picture of the sham is clear to the public now and the dignity of AAP has become questionable.

“I am in touch with the Aam Aadmi Party since 2011, at the time of Anna Hazare. My work is well recognized by Kejriwal Ji as well. I am a hard worker in this party and have sacrificed everything at the cost of the betterment of AAP. It hurts to see my family dissipated. Despite the abundant hard work I have not been given a post in Mahila Wing. I even begged in front of these people to at least grant me a post, but none of my woes are heard” said Archana -an AAP volunteer from Matiala Vidhan sabha.

She further added “Amrita Vashista, another co-worker is handicapped but has still worked hard yet did not receive any ticket. She truly deserved it.

“Before the nominations, a person cajoled me for bribery. Everything is pre-planned here, the candidate was not even declared yet and Mamta Soni wife of MLA Girish soni went with a candidate in ward 101 and declared her as a candidate for Maadipur. It is not only about me, it is about all the women who fought fearlessly over the span of time. The harsh truth is that we women have been used as props to outshine the protest, rallies, and banners. It’s ironical that on one hand AAP rants BJP for some reasons and overlook these reasons when it comes to them. How efficiently has the corruption been mitigated? For that the AAP probably may have to check its MLAs first of all”, said Abha Mittal of Maadipur Vidhan Sabha,AAP.

An anonymous source told Newsgram, “The party has done wrong, we have worked till 12 pm for the party and we also traveled across the country. It’s heartbreaking that Mahila Wing did not receive the ticket. Jitendrana was not a volunteer, in spite of which his wife won the ticket.”

Do we really know what women empowerment is?

Women empowerment is not just a vocal expression; it is more about giving women the power they deserve. There is more than the symbolic representation of women in texts or illustrations that we see. Women represent the face of the country, it is for this reason the subject cannot be ignored by any of the citizens because all these people that came forward for a cause to join politics and to bring change in the country were one amongst us. AAP has not only hurt the sentiments of the women working day and night for the party but has betrayed the nation as well.

Go to this link to know moreWomen Wing Feels Cheated by Aam Aadmi Party on Ticket Distribution (part 2)

– reporting by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter @Nainamishr94


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Is Delhi’s air going to take the structure of ‘London’s Smog’?

Breathing in Delhi is equal to smoking 40 cigarets.

Smog in Delhi
In recent time, there is a huge increase in the smog in around Delhi. Wikimedia commons

New Delhi, Nov 15 On a cold December morning some 65 years ago, a seemingly dense fog engulfed the City of London. People went about their business as usual as it was a common occurrence at that time. It didn’t take long, however, for Londoners to realise that this was no regular fog but a toxic combination of smoke and fog — smog.

That Great Smog of 1952 — often called “The Big Smoke” — killed an estimated 12,000 people and had long-term ill-effects on the health of the city’s residents.

Last week, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria compared the alarming pollution scenario in Delhi with London’s 1952 crisis. Environment experts agree that if serious steps are not taken, Delhi may soon face a similar kind of “air pollution disaster” which London did 65 years ago.

The Big Smoke did not happen in London all of a sudden. There were signs — alarming signs — as even before the 1952 crisis, the British capital experienced smog events several times in the past which they called “pea soupers”. Those were similar to what Delhi may be experiencing today.

Just as in Delhi today, the smog engulfed London, reducing visibility and causing discomfort to children and the elderly and to those suffering from respiratory diseases. The number of patients reporting to hospitals with respiratory ailments used to increase at that time of the year.

But it took the air pollution disaster of 1952 for the British government to acknowledge the magnitude of the crisis and take a slew of measures to undo the damage — including passage of the Clean Air Act 1956 and shift from coal-based fuel to alternative fuels.

While some experts wonder if Delhi is also waiting for a disaster like The Big Smoke to take stringent measures to improve the city’s air quality, others feel the disaster is already upon us and would have long-term health impacts on Delhi’s residents.

Eminent environment expert C.R. Babu said what we face in Delhi today is much more serious than the London smog.

“In London, smog killed because people faced breathing problems. But the toxins in Delhi’s air could lead to long-term problems and chronic health disorders, and not just short-term health issues,” Babu told IANS.

“Vehicular exhausts have large amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are toxic in nature and are also carcinogenic,” he added.

Babu warned that the situation would become much worse if the government didn’t act fast. “Just like the London incident was called an ‘air pollution disaster’, what we have today is a similar disaster in Delhi. But in Delhi’s case, people will suffer for longer periods.”

“It is time for the government to think deeply about long-term planning for preventing such air pollution disasters,” he added.

According to AIIMS Director Guleria, the alarming pollution level in the city has already led to an at least 20 per cent increase in the number of persons complaining of cardiac and respiratory problems.

He also warned that about 30,000 persons may lose their lives in the National Capital Region alone due to the current pollution levels, numbers which, he said, he had extrapolated from the number of hospital admissions.

Vivek Chattopadhyay, Programme Manager at the Centre for Science and Enviromment, said it could be a watershed moment for Delhi and should not be taken lightly.

“Ultimately, we are dealing with a health crisis, not just visibility problems,” Chattopadhyay told IANS. “There are huge health costs and, as per estimates, air pollution is costing India around three per cent of the GDP in terms of health costs.”

Chattopadhyay said that the recurring smog incidents of Delhi are major warning signals and just as was the case of London before the big disaster, the powers that be in Delhi may also be unaware of the magnitude of the problem.

“The problem is that our health system won’t be able to tell how many are affected. We need a comprehensive data recording system. Hard statistics are needed about the number of cases of respiratory problems, cardiac arrests and strokes that are reported in the hospitals,” he said.

As for precautionary measures, he said there was a need to introduce clean fuel for everything and a parity of laws across NCR and not just in Delhi.

“Delhi in isolation cannot remain clean. It is high time that the government woke up and an inter-state meeting was held to collectively solve the problem. It has become a recurring thing and there is a need to change the way we work. The time for action is now,” he said.

R. Suresh, Fellow and Area Convenor at TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute), pointed out that Delhi’s response to the crisis has so far been reactive, not pre-emptive, which needed to change.

“While weather is not in our control, what we can control are ground-level emissions. What we have witnessed so far is that we face a crisis every year and then the government reacts. We need a long-term solution,” Suresh told IANS.

“We know that November-December is the peak time for air pollution. So our precautionary measures should happen before November. Why wait for Diwali to ban crackers? For next year, measures should be taken now.”

While Suresh said that the main problem was stubble burning in the neighbouring states as well as construction and road dust, Babu maintained that the exhaust from automobiles are more dangerous.

“You have to regulate automobiles — stringent measures are needed. For example, Singapore has decided to stop registration of all new vehicles. Why can’t we do that in Delhi? Almost every household has a vehicle today. More than the need, it has just become a symbol of social status,” he said. (IANS)

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Manoj Bajpayee is an amazing actor and a team player on set: Sidharth Malhotra

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

Actor Sidharth Malhotra
Actor Sidharth Malhotra. Wikimedia Commons

November 7, 2017: Actor Sidharth Malhotra, who will be seen sharing screen space with Manoj Bajpayee in “Aiyaary”, says the National Award winning actor is amazing and a team player.

Sidharth Malhotra on Thursday treated his fans to a question and answer session over Twitter.

A user asked the “Student Of The Year” actor about his experience working with Manoj in “Aiyaary”.

Sidharth replied: “He’s an amazing actor and a team player on set.”

“Aiyaary”, set in Delhi, London and Kashmir, revolves around two strong-minded Army officers having completely different views, yet right in their own ways. It is a real-life story based on the relationship between a mentor and a protege.

Presented by Plan C and Jayantilal Gada (Pen), the project is produced by Shital Bhatia, Dhaval Jayantilal Gada, Motion Picture Capital.

When asked about the development of the film, Sidharth replied: “Awesome. Excited to show it in a few months.”

Sidharth, 32, also described his “Brothers” co-star Akshay Kumar as his “brother from another mother.”(IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)