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New Delhi, Jan 28, 2017: No policy decision on issues that directly or incidentally impact sex workers should be made without meaningful and inclusive consultation with their community, representatives of sex workers organisations demanded on Friday.
Keeping in view the present strategy of Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to enact a comprehensive legislation to address the issue of trafficking of minors, girls and workers, women from All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) and Self Regulatory Board’s (SRB) deliberated on the issue.
AINSW President Kusum and SRB members — Padma Majumdar, Madhu N. and Renuka Prabhu here on Friday said that the community should be consulted in policies made for them and also emphasised that sex work and trafficking should not be confused as one.
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“The mainstream idea about sex workers is that it is synonymous to trafficking. People and the law always associate the two,” AINSW President Kusum told media.
“The fact that they are vulnerable to trafficking is absolutely true though,” she added.
Kusum also said that her organisation is trying to give the community of sex workers an identity.
“We are not asking the society for any special rights but just the same as any other woman in the country. The support of government is missing. It never bothers to consult us in matters pertaining to us,” she said, adding: “Their policies make us feel that we are wrong. We are trying to give an identity to our community.”
She emphasised on the need to take sex workers organisations into confidence as they are equally concerned and exercised about human trafficking and have decades of experience in implementing their own effective anti-trafficking strategies, including setting up a Self-Regulatory Board (SRB) model.
“I am a sex worker but I don’t support trafficking. I am associated with SRB, which is working to rescue trafficking victims. As of now we have come across 108 cases of minors trying to join the profession,” said Renuka Prabhu from SRB, Mysore.
“They have either been sent back or been registered in institutions where they join various training programmes like computers etc.,” she added.
“If there is no age proof or if there are doubts about it, SRB makes the girl undergo a bone X-ray test to find out,” she explained.
Sangeeta, member of the SRB, Kolkata, pointed out that since 2001 till December 2016, 1,058 girls and women have been rescued from trafficking.
“It is this hard work that we put in starting with 31 cases in 2001 and peaking as high as 113 in 2008 that made us confident that if all sex worker’s organisations get mandated to prevent trafficking of minors and women, it can go a long way in strengthening the anti-trafficking efforts.”
She further added, “I request the government to please involve us while making policies and guidelines about us.”
A human rights lawyer Tripti Tandon, who was also present during the discussion, said: “Although the recent Draft Bill on anti-trafficking had undergone several changes in a span of a few months, the insidious effects of the bill on the lives of sex workers was worrisome to say the least.”
“With raid and rescue being synonymous with shock and fear, what it destroys is trust and respect, which women need the most, to enable them to resist trafficking as is evident in community-led anti-trafficking initiatives,” Tandon said.
She said, “By conflating sex work and trafficking, the law enforcement agencies end up by policing sex work, rounding up and intimidating women especially in brothel situations.”
She stressed that the time has now come for all key stakeholders to place communities most vulnerable to and caught in the cross-fire of trafficking to be at the centre of any consultation on change in law, policy or programme.
To affirm support for the over 3 million sex workers across the country who have played a stellar role in bringing down new infections of HIV, AINSW will join in a protest march on the occasion of March 8 (International Women’s Day) to uphold the rights and dignity of some of the most marginalised sections of the society. (IANS)
Since the 7th of December 1949, the Armed Forces Flag Day has been observed in India, annually. This one day is dedicated towards collection of funds from the citizens of India for the welfare of the ‘Indian Armed Forces personnel’. It has become a tradition to pay respect to the people who have served in the army, Navy and Airforce, on this day.
“The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations.” The color-scheme of the flag is very similar to the ones used by fellow Commonwealth members like Cyprus, Kenya and Nigeria. The Flag Day signifies that it is the responsibility of the citizens of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.
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A need for such a day was realized by the Government after India gained Independence from the British rule. In order to manage the welfare of its defence personnel, the Defence Minister of India and a committee together decided to recognize 7th December as the Flag Day. This decision was taken on the 28th of August 1949.
The then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurated the day saying that,
“A few weeks ago, I visited Indo-China and saw our officers and men attached to the International Commission there. It gave me a thrill to see their smart bearing and the good work they were doing in that distant land. What pleased me still more was their general popularity with the people there. By their efficiency as well as their friendliness, they enhanced the reputation of India. Among them were people from all parts of India. They observed no provincial or other differences amongst themselves. I am sure my countrymen will be pleased to learn of them and would like to indicate their appreciation of these young men who serve our country both here and elsewhere so well. A way to indicate that appreciation is to contribute to the Flag Day Fund.”
The fund is collected through official and non-official means with the help of voluntary organizations. The Kendriya Sainik Board, which is under the Ministry of Defence, arranges for the collection of the fund.
The Defence Ministry of India decided to integrate all the related welfare funds into a single unit called the Armed Forces Flag Day fund. The funds that were integrated are:
- Amalgamated Special Fund for War Bereaved, War Disabled and other ex-Servicemen/Serving Personnel
- Flag Day Fund
- St Dunstan's (India) and Kendriya Sainik Board Fund
- Indian Gorkha Ex-Servicemen's Welfare Fund
The Flag Day signifies that it is the responsibility of the citizens of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.Unsplash
Problems have to be resolved by and welfare of the ex-servicemen and dependents are mostly settled by the States and the Union Territories, although it was to be a shared responsibility between the Union Government, the State Governments and the governments of the Union Territories. In order to help the Central Government in carrying out this process, there are 32 Rajya Sainik Boards and 392 Zila Sainik Boards. The Kendriya Sainik Board, the Rajya Sainik Board and the Zila Sainik Board are all responsible for the policy formulation and implementation of resettlement and welfare schemes for ex-servicemen, widows and their dependents residing in their respective States or Union Territories or Districts.(Keywords : armed, forces, flag, india, independance, donation, citizen, army, navy, airforce, tradition, respect, government, state, center, union territory, district, funds.)
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A large majority of Indians seem convinced that social media is responsible for the increased gulf between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the country.
This was revealed by a nationwide poll conducted by IANS-CVoter with a sample size of 1942 using random sampling on December 5, one day before the beginning of the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
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Close to half the respondents surveyed, 48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.
About 23 per cent of the respondents felt that social media had increased the gulf to some extent. In effect, more than 71 per cent Indians hold social media responsible for the recent friction between the two communities.
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In contrast, 28.6 per cent were of the opinion that social media had no role to play in this phenomenon. If you look at political divides, 40.7 per cent of NDA voters felt social media was responsible to a large extent while 53.6 per cent of opposition voters felt the same.
48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.Unsplash
Social media platforms have come under increased scrutiny of late for their alleged role in spreading misinformation, fake news, abusive and defamatory content and direct incitement to violence. It has become routine for state and local level administrations to temporarily ban access to social media platforms in areas that report tension and fears of violence.
A parliamentary committee has recently submitted a set of recommendations to regulate social media platforms. One major recommendation is to treat them as publishers while the other is to form a regulatory body on the lines of Press Council of India to regulate their activities. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : social media, Hindu, Muslim, community, country, poll, respondents, political, religious, misinformation, violence. abuse, regulations)
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Final preparations are in full swing at Six Senses Fort Barwara which will host the much talked about wedding of celebrity couple Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif.
According to sources, the event company working for this wedding has procured crystal balls and chandeliers from abroad to give a royal look to the wedding. These will be installed in the hotel soon.
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Six Senses Hotel has also parked indicator vehicles on the road at frequent intervals for the guests to reach the hotel easily. A glass 'mandap' has been prepared and decorated in Rajwada style for the couple to take 'pheres' (rounds around the fire) as per Hindu rituals. Moreover, the glass carvings on the mandap is such that it creates an optical illusion.
This wedding ceremony will be held amidst tight security arrangements. Secret codes have been given to each of the guests, so that it is impossible to know which guest is staying in which room.
Mobile phones have been banned inside the venue. International photographers have been hired to shoot the entire wedding. The ceremonies will be held from December 7 to December 9, with bouncers and police personnel looking after the security arrangements. As many as 100 bouncers have arrived from Jaipur to look after security arrangements at the wedding.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9.Unsplash
Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif's outfits have been designed in Mumbai which they will wear during different wedding ceremonies.
As per information, Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal are scheduled to reach Hotel Six Senses Fort Barwara located at Chauth Ka Barwara, by 9 p.m. on Monday, via car from Jaipur where both are expected to receive a grand welcome by the hotel management.
Along with Vicky and Katrina, their family members too will reach the hotel on Monday. However, some close family members and other guests will reach the venue separately. Katrina's sister Natasha and friends reached Jaipur airport on Monday afternoon from where they left for the wedding venue by car.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : wedding, Bollywood, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Rajasthan, hotel, Fort Barwara, ceremony, photographer, bouncer, outfit)
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