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Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan feels manual scavenging is an unconstitutional act and has pledged to join any campaign that works for the benefit of such workers.
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“Events of the day move you beyond words … manual scavenging is an unconstitutional and illegal act .. yet .. it exists and they that work, suffer inhuman existence… Will join any campaign that works for their benefit .. have pledged,” Big B tweeted on Wednesday.
He expressed similar views on his blog, too. “There are times when the events of the day seem to last longer than what they were meant to be .. the strength and the agony of them that live and serve in inhuman conditions and environs .. who get the discrimination of society .. who labor in conditions that are humiliating yet for the presence and existence, they suffer .. because having a roof and feeding the family is their prime objective… I am unable to contend with this so shall end here .. with the hope and prayer that the end for them that live in extraneous circumstances is of a brighter and existent life as humans,” he wrote.
On the work front, the actor, who turned 78 on Sunday, has a lot to look forward to. He will be seen in Nagraj Manjule’s “Jhund”, the Emraan Hashmi co-starrer “Chehre”, and Ayan Mukerji’s action fantasy drama “Brahmastra”, co-starring Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Mouni Roy, and Telugu superstar Nagarjuna. Big B will also star with Deepika Padukone and Telugu superstar Prabhas in a multilingual mega-production for the big screen. The yet-untitled film is slated to release in 2022. (IANS)
By Puja Gupta
What started as the craze for a handphone photo of “Smoked caramelized apple with buttermilk yolk and a rose macaroon” around 357 weeks ago, has gathered critical mass in 2020 for Chef Ranveer Brar, who is loved for his remarkable quip on television and historic conversations on life, travel, and cuisine on the gram.
The Food Sufi recently won the ‘capital M’ next to his follower count on Instagram. Ask him how he wishes to celebrate this milestone and he replies, “By #MakingMillionCount.” Such a lucrative influence as a Indian household-name should have its perks, which Brar feels should and can be best used for the welfare of our society.
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Hence, the launch of his digital mission #MakingMillionCount, wherein he aims to partner with different organisations to mirror the milestone number on to beneficiaries via various supporting programmes.
The first in his arsenal of initiatives is to put the backbone of our cuisine back on their feet – by rebuilding some serious street cred for India’s street vendors.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: एलजी यूप्लस ने विकसित किया सिमलेस सेलुलर तकनीक
“My relationship with food has always taught me to give back in some way, shape, or form. The onset of Covid’s socio-economic repercussions has caused a setback to millions of people across many walks of life. While we are all coping with it in our own ways, the worst-hit are those dependent on daily earnings… the lockdown has thus forced many a street food vendor to shut shop and perhaps return home,” opines Ranveer.
“While the bigger players are testing waters around making a comeback, the smaller vendors are still coming to terms with basic survival. However, their spirit of entrepreneurship is very much alive, as purported by the National Association of Street Vendors of India, aka NASVI, with whom I am crafting an association for a countrywide digital training movement targeted at local and hyperlocal street food vendors. We are committed to preparing them for a post-Covid world, where we can help reinstate them back into business as soon as possible.”
Towards this endeavour, Ranveer will use his global social media standing to create awareness and raise funds for these pan-India training modules, some of which he will also conduct personally via Zoom. The idea is to motivate more vendors to come forward for the training, on completion of which they are given a chance for a fair business footing via an FSSAI certificate + a starter kit consisting of an apron, pair of gloves, sanitizer, and mask. Via #MakingMillionCount, Brar also wants to encourage patrons to share self-curated, sanitization kits with their favourite roadside vendors to encourage and motivate them back to business.
“NASVI is a livelihood advocacy organisation that works with more than 10,000,00 street vendors through street vendor organisations and leaders. It is very heartening to join hands with celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar to strengthen our effort of empowering street food vendors with the skill to cope during and post-Covid pandemic. His association will be a great motivation for street food vendors. Hygiene kits, which are the need of the hour, will be a great incentive for the food vendors to come forward for training. Wish and hope this beautiful association with Chef Brar brings a phenomenal success in the life of food vendors,” mentions Arbind Singh, National Coordinator, NASVI.
Ranveer undertook a series of lives titled #BeHomewithRB where he served as a covert detective bringing India’s hidden rural talent to the forefront. He also hosted many live-cooking sessions with celebrities such as Shankar Mahadevan and Nakul Mehta, finally amalgamating the series into a 21-day curated, lockdown cook-book that aided people with preparations of simple recipes with limited ingredients. #SochPostiveKarona, where Ranveer helped spread cheer via positive news bulletins on his Instagram daily, followed by an NGO showcase that one could contribute to and make a difference in these trying times.
“Street food is the backbone of any cuisine and culture. Being an avid traveler, I always encourage people to explore any destination through its street food, for that is where the tastiest stories of that region’s ethnicity are often hidden. Those hawkers are not mere food vendors, but a significant piece of our culture that we cannot afford to lose to history. They are our memory makers, our gossip mongers, and more than anything, stand testament to India’s resilient nature, and we must support them to #BringThemBack,” he says. (IANS)
Geneva/New Delhi, May 4, 2017: India on Thursday said that it protects the rights of vulnerable groups and is strengthening laws for their protection and welfare.
“In all its policies, India seeks to ensure inclusive development and the protection of rights of vulnerable groups,” Mukul Rohatgi said while speaking at the Third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of India at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
“We have enacted a range of laws to address sexual assault and other gender-based crimes. We have overhauled the legal framework for dealing with child sexual assault,” Rohatgi said.
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The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, by resolution 60/251, which established the UNHRC itself.
The UPR is a unique process which involves a review of the human rights records of all UN member-states.
Speaking further on child protection, the Attorney General said, “To better protect children from exploitative conditions and to ensure that they have freedom, dignity and opportunity, the National Child Policy, 2013 has put in place a rights- based policy framework for addressing children’s needs.”
Putting across the Indian stand on rights of minorities, he said, “Safeguarding the rights of minorities forms an essential core of our polity. The Indian Constitution enshrines various provisions for the protection of the rights and interest of the minorities.”
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Speaking on the Indian efforts towards combating human trafficking, he said that, “To comprehensively address issues relating to human trafficking, the Government is in advanced consultations with stakeholders on a new Anti-Human Trafficking Bill.”
“India has been at the forefront of recognizing the equal rights of transgender persons,” Rohatgi said and added that transgenders are “entitled to affirmative action benefits.”
“The Court also reinforced that they should have all rights under law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession and inheritance.”
Replying to the concerns pertaining to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Rohatgi said that this Act is applied only to disturbed areas dealing with exigent circumstances like terrorism.
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“These areas are very few and in proximity to some international borders.”
Highlighting the inherent checks in AFSPA against any immunity to security forces, Rohatgi said, “Recently, the Court held that the armed forces cannot use excessive force in the course of the discharge of their duties under the Act, which does not allow blanket immunity for perpetrators of unjustified deaths or offences.”
He also talked about the Accessible India Campaign which address the special needs of persons with disabilities.
On the status of freedom of speech in the country, the top law officer said, “As the world’s largest multi-layered democracy..Our people are conscious of their political freedoms and exercise their choices at every opportunity.”
UPR is a state-driven process, under the auspices of the UNHRC, which provides the opportunity for each state to declare what actions have been taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries and to fulfill their human rights obligations.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi is leading the Indian delegation which also comprises Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry, P.S. Patwalia, Additional Solicitor General of India, and senior officials from the External Affairs, Home, Women and Child Development, Social Justice and Empowerment, Minority Affairs, Rural Development Ministries and the NITI Aayog. India’s first UPR was reviewed in 2008 and the second in 2012. (IANS)
New Delhi, September 1, 2016: Needless to say that, Health-Management failure is prone in India. The depth of this fact can be measured only if we go through with these examples.
In Odisha, a man slung his wife’s body over his shoulder and carried it 10 km after being denied an ambulance on August 24, 2016.
In Kanpur, a man’s sick son died on his shoulder after being denied admission to a hospital on August 29, 2016.
Such cases become visible when they get social media and television attention, but millions cannot access India’s overburdened hospitals and inadequate medical facilities, a crisis illustrated by the fact that India is short of nearly 500,000 doctors, based on the World Health Organization(WHO) norm of 1:1,000 population, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data.
With more than 740,000 active doctors at the end of 2014 — a claimed doctor-patient population ratio of 1:1,674, worse than Vietnam, Algeria and Pakistan — the doctor shortage was one of the health-management failures cited by the report of a parliamentary committee on health and family welfare, which presented its findings on March 8, 2016.
Illegal capitation fees in private medical colleges, a health-services inequality between urban and rural India and a disconnect between the public-health and medical-education systems were among the issues the committee investigated while probing the Medical Council of India, the 82-year-old organisation responsible for medical-education standards.
— National Health Por. (@NHP_INDIA) August 29, 2016
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Up to 55 percent of India’s 55,000 doctors graduate every year from private colleges, many of which charge illegal donations, or “capitation fees”; in Tamil Nadu, it now costs a medical student from such a college Rs 2 crore to get an MBBS degree, the Times Of India reported on August 26, 2016.
The imbalances begin with access to medical education.
States with nearly half the population have only a fifth of MBBS seats
“Six states, which represent 31 percent of India’s population, have 58 per cent MBBS seats; on the other hand, eight states, which comprise 46 percent of India’s population, have only 21 per cent MBBS seats,” said an unnamed expert who deposed before the parliamentary committee.
These medical-education imbalances reflect larger public-healthcare issues. In general, poverty is correlated with the lack of healthcare. For instance, among states with the highest proportion of undernourished children, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have the worst infrastructure for institutional deliveries.
India’s poorer states have health indicators that are worse than many nations poorer than them, and India’s healthcare spending is the lowest among BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations, as are its health indicators.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) September 1, 2016
Every year, 55,000 doctors complete their MBBS and 25,000 post-graduation nationwide, said another unnamed expert. At this rate of growth, he told the committee, India should have a doctor (allopathic) for every 1,250 people for a population of 1.3 billion by 2020, and one for every 1,075 by 2022 (population: 1.36 billion).
“However, the committee has been informed? that doctors cannot be produced overnight, and if we add 100 medical colleges every year for the next five years, only by the year 2029 will the country have an adequate number of doctors,” the second expert said.
The shortage of doctors, the report said, is despite the increase in medical colleges, from 23 in 1947 to 398 at the end of 2014. India, the report noted, has more medical colleges than any country, and 49,930 admissions were available in 2014.
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“An expert who appeared before the committee submitted that India was very very short of doctors and to meet this shortfall, India needs to have not four hundred, but one thousand medical colleges,” the report said.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) September 1, 2016
The central government has approved 22 medical colleges with 1,765 seats in the last two years, according to an e-book published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The NITI Aayog, the government’s think-tank, has prepared the draft National Education Commission Bill, 2016, to reassess India’s healthcare and medical-education infrastructure.
While 11 new All IndiaInstitutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been added with 1,100 seats, the government has proposed an additional 4,700 MBBS seats.
LIVE: Lack of hygiene in urban areas has acquired serious proportions threatening human and economic health of the nation: @MVenkaiahNaidu
— PIB India (@PIB_India) September 1, 2016
As many as 5,540 MBBS seats and 1,004 PG seats have been added in the last two academic sessions, the e-book said.
Medical-education shortages manifest themselves in under-staffed public-health services nationwide: There is an 83 percent shortage of specialist medical professionals in community health centres (CHCs), as IndiaSpend reported in September 2015.
Public-health centres across India’s rural areas — 25,308 in 29 states and seven union territories — are short of more than 3,000 doctors, the scarcity rising 200 per cent (or tripling) over 10 years, IndiaSpend reported in February 2016.
6 states with 31% of India’s popn. have 58% MBBS seats; 8 states with 46% of popn. have only 21% MBBS seats: https://t.co/MMAvnr3fC4
— IndiaSpend (@IndiaSpend) September 1, 2016
The committee was, thus, sceptical of the government’s claims of the doctor-population ratio.
“Given the fact that the Indian Medical Register is not a live database and contains names of doctors who may have passed away or retired from active practice, by now, as well as those with a permanent address outside India and that there is no mechanism in place for filtering out such cases, the Committee is highly sceptical of the ministry’s claim of having one doctor per 1,674 population,” the parliamentary report said. “In view of the above, the Committee feels that the total universe of doctors in India is much smaller than the official figure, and we may have one doctor per 2,000 population, if not more.” (IANS)
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