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Sushma Swaraj’s vigilance helps Indian diaspora receive prompt rescue

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picture courtesy: www.newspoint.in

New Delhi: When overseas Indians are in trouble, they contact India’s External Affairs Ministry Sushma Swaraj on mobile or the net for urgent rescue.

by Kul Bushan

Every night, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj checks her Twitter and other social media accounts for about an hour. That is how she has proved to be an action oriented minister to solve urgent problems of the Indian diaspora members in distress.

The latest is the homecoming of a young Sikh woman and her eight-year-old daughter stuck in a refugee camp in Germany after her in-laws duped her into going abroad. The woman made a video plea for urgent help on 2 February and Sushma Swaraj sprung into instant action so she landed in Delhi within 48 hours.

This is the latest rescue mission in a long list of emergency evacuations, both individual and en masse. During a recent speech, the minister said that she gets regular appeals for help from overseas Indians including women in the Gulf. Many women workers have their passports impounded by their employers and are mistreated. The minister’s first response is to inform the nearest Indian mission to fly her to India after an emergency certificate is issued by the mission in lieu of a passport to enable travel to India.

She keeps in touch with the distressed Indians on social media giving information on the progress of the rescue operation and with their family in India. During this, she gets details, starting with the mobile number of ‘the agent’ who sent the worker abroad. In most cases, these are fly-by-night operators not registered with the government. So she informs the state government about this ‘agent’ to check the registration. If the agent is not registered, then legal action is started.

When a person pleads for urgent help, the Minister takes up the matter with the nearest mission to gear into action. A deadline is set and if the matter is not resolved, the complaint moves to a higher level with colour coding until it becomes red. With social media, mobile app and a site, the ministry responds to distress pleas from anywhere and at all times.

Another site, www.emigrate.gov.in  provides full information to workers who want to emigrate.

Soon after Prime Minister Modi took office in May 2014, the first rescue mission for around 100,000 Indians started from Ukraine in June 2014. Another 7,500 were rescued from Iraq within a few days. The mission in Yemen for 7,500 Indians and 2,000 others was more dramatic and dangerous.

The big problem is when overseas Indians do not follow advisories from the Indian government to leave their countries of residence in turmoil. Even after 3,500 had been brought back, Indians in Libya ignored repeated advisories and a few landed in dire straits.

Overseas Indians can count on prompt and effective help from India when in dire straits.

This article was first published at mauritiustimes.com

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Going Viral: Fun and Fatal Social Media Challenges

The challenge encouraged nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same

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InstagramAn affordable way to boost your content . Pixabay

By Durga Chakravarty

The growing popularity of social media platforms has seen an upsurge in viral trends — some fun, but some fatal to human life. Be it the ice bucket challenge or the latest #Birdboxchallenge — these have swept the Internet as netizens from all around the globe join in to perform certain situations, dances, voices or even speeches for entertainment.

IANS gives a lowdown on the popular challenges that have taken over social media over the past few years:

* #10yearchallenge: The latest entry to the growing list of viral challenges on social media is the 10-Year Challenge, which has caught the attention of many. In this, a person is required to share his recent image alongside a 10-year-old photograph to see the difference. From Hollywood to Bollywood and the local neighbourhood, everyone took a moment to rewind the clock and compare their looks.

* #Birdboxchallenge: This originated from streaming website Netflix’s film “Bird Box”, starring Sandra Bullock. In the film, Bullock and two children navigate a post-apocalyptic world while blindfolded to avoid seeing an ominous figure which causes death for humans. After the film’s release, people uploaded and shared videos of themselves wandering around blindfolded, undertaking the challenge, which is inspired by scenes depicted in the movie. As various accidents began taking place, Netflix urged fans of the film not to do the challenge due to safety concerns.

* #Kikichallenge: This challenge saw people across the globe dancing on the hit song “In My Feeling” from the album “Scorpion” by Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake. The challenge, which took the Internet by storm, showed fans suddenly coming out of a moving car, leaving the door open and then dancing to the song besides the slow-moving vehicle on the road. This was risky too.

* #Fluffchallenge: This was a disappearing game that people all around the world attempted to try to fool their pets, mostly dogs. With a large piece of cloth in hand and a doorway nearby, the owners would shake the cloth multiple times and then disappear behind a wall, leaving the pet confused or reacting oddly.

Mannequins in clothing stores
The Mannequin Challenge was video trend which became popular in 2016-17. Pixabay

* The Dele Alli hand challenge: English footballer Dele Alli’s hand-salute gesture left the social media users in a tizzy. His gesture covering his eye with a looped finger and odd twist of the wrist, created quite a buzz, with many trying different ways to successfully try it.

* Mannequin challenge: The Mannequin Challenge was video trend which became popular in 2016-17. The challenge was for people to remain frozen in their position like mannequins while a camera moved around and filmed them, with the song “Black beatles” by hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd playing in the background.

* Kylie Jenner lip challenge: As Kylie Jenner flaunted her fuller lips on social media, a new challenge emerged among teenaged girls, who idolised the make-up mogul. They would insert their lips into a shot glass, small jar or bottle, then suck out the air, creating a vacuum hoping to have pouty lips like popular reality TV star.

Also Read- Parents Need to Act Quickly to Handle a Child’s Fears, Says Maneka Gandhi

* Ice Bucket Challenge: The Ice Bucket Challenge, also called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It was an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice and water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease and in the US as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and encourage donations to research.

The challenge encouraged nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation. (IANS)