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Being a good citizen and obeying the law of the land is not just a legal or moral obligation for thousands of villagers in Gujarat but it also comes with its own set of financial incentives. As part of a scheme named Tirthgam-Pavangam, the state government has gifted nearly Rs 23 crore to over 1,300 crime-free villages in 16 years.
Launched in 2004, the scheme aims to promote unity, social harmony, and all-around development of villages. It helps in lowering the crime graph in rural areas as crime-free villages get rewarded. Till 2019, 1,319 village Panchayats have been gifted Rs 22.9 crore under the scheme.
What’s the scheme
According to a government notification on the Tirthgam-Pavangam scheme, if any village is free from crime for a consecutive period of three years, it falls under the ‘Pavangam’ category. Villages that hold crime-free status for five years consecutively fall under the ‘Tirthgam’ category. ‘Tirthgam’ consists of two words — Tirth means pilgrimage center and ‘Gam’ means village. The word ‘Pavan’ means sacred.
The crime-free status is determined by checking police records of all villages in the state. Gram Panchayats of Pavangam villages are given Rs 2 lakh, while Tirthgams are given an additional reward of Rs 1 lakh. The cycle then repeats, so it’s not a one-time gift. Since 2004, 976 villages have become Tirthgam in the state, while 343 are Pavangam.
Out of the 33 districts of Gujarat, villages from 25 districts have benefitted from this scheme so far. It includes villages from Ahmedabad, Porbandar, Kachchh, Gandhinagar, Panchmahal, Surendranagar, Surat, Sabarkantha, Valsad, Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Patan, Surat, Banaskantha, Navsari, Vadodara, Jamnagar, Kheda, Amreli, Tapi-Vyara, Dang, Rajkot, Morbi, Mahesana and Junagadh districts. Under the scheme, road accidents are not considered a crime as they are not intentional.
Free to pursue development
The stated mandate of the scheme is to promote communal harmony and Mahendragadh, which was awarded Tirthgam status in 2011, is a testament to its success. Situated in Morbi district, 80 percent out of the village’s 750 residents belong to the Patidar community. But the interesting fact is that the Panchayat leader, or ‘Sarpanch’, is a Muslim woman — Mumtaz Mutakbhai Bhoria.
“The fact that I am the Sarpanch of a Patidar village itself explains how closely bonded the people are over here. I am actively involved in every developmental activity in the village and that’s what matters for all of us. The people are happy, I am happy and schemes like Tirthgam and Pavangam are a remarkable step from the government to promote peace and harmony in villages,” Bhoria says.
She said due to the communal harmony, understanding, and mindset of development, this village Panchayat has also been Samras Panchayat for the sixth term. The status refers to Samras Gram Yojana where leaders and members of Panchayats are chosen by consensus and not through elections. The state government provides additional incentives to Samras Panchayats.
Geratnagar, a beautiful village located on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in Daskroi taluka, has a similar tale. The village was registered as Tirthgam in 2020. Village sarpanch Shardaben Ranchhodbhai Makwana agrees that such schemes have been a motivational factor.
“We have a population of about 2,000 people from different castes. There has never been any crime in the village as we want peace and development. That’s why many young boys are doing various jobs in the city while others are busy with their agricultural activities. These schemes are wonderful if implemented properly,” says Makwana.
The carrot and carrot approach
Bipinbhai Girdharbhai Patel, a young Sarpanch from Sabarkantha district’s Prithvipura village, explains that due to the crime-free nature of the village, the focus has been on undertaking various developmental works. “This scheme just endorses humanity and motivates us. It is essential that all the villages gradually become crime-free and people are happy,” says Patel.
The village was awarded Tirthgam status in 2018. Though the scheme is positive in its intent, it has to reach many more villages for its impact to be widespread across the state. A.K. Rakesh, additional chief secretary of, state Panchayat department, is hopeful that the government would be able to take this scheme forward and deliver phenomenal results in the years to come.
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“This scheme is unique in its nature and it’s a reflection of how the state government is committed towards the welfare of the people. It has brought many positive stories from various villages. In the future, more villages will be benefitted from the scheme,” he said.
Police officials say there are many villages in the state that have always been crime-free. “But once it is recognized and rewarded, it brings a new change. When such schemes are introduced, it brings a positive movement in rural areas. If it brings peace among people, it’s really worthwhile in today’s time,” D Jadeja, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Anand district, says. (IANS/JC)
The status website says the encrypted messaging app is "experiencing technical difficulties" and many people are also getting an in-app error message that says the same thing. Signal allows for secure and encrypted video, voice and text communication, but users are unable to send any messages.
According to Downdetector.com, users started reporting outages around 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time and it appears to be affecting people around the world. Comments shared on Downdetector.com indicates that Signal was down for users from India, US, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and many other countries.
"Down in Midwest USA. Signal was started by people connected to which secret 3-letter organization? (Look it up) Yep, that's right! An app disguised a privacy app to trick you into sharing more private information than you would with another messaging app," a user said. "I think Signal is having a rough day. Good luck, Team Signal. I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in a snap," said another. The encrypted messaging service has climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Signal, app, encrypted, messages, outage, down
This issue will be fixed in an upcoming software update. Until the update is available, you can turn off Unlock with Apple Watch and use your passcode to unlock your iPhone 13. To turn off Unlock with Apple Watch, go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode.
Earlier, multiple users found that they cannot unlock their iPhone 13 with the Apple Watch and instead received an error. User Monzilla88 on Reddit first reported the issue to the subreddit r/AppleWatch. They stated that both their iPhone 13 Pro and Apple Watch SE are up to date with the newest iOS and watchOS updates.
"Whenever I try to enable unlock with Apple Watch on my phone I get an error saying "Unable to communicate with Apple Watch," they posted. Monzilla88 claimed that they had tried unpairing and repairing, hard resetting both devices, turning on and off passcodes, but not no avail, the report said. More than 20 other users self-reported the same problem, with others noting that the feature works fine on iOS 15 on older models of iPhone, including the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone X. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: iPhone 13, apple, watch, issue, update, face lock
The nursery rhyme Goosey Goosey Gander is filled with multiple meanings. It is another one of those rhymes believed to have emerged from the time of great persecution in England during the Reformation. It also holds a contemporary, colloquial meaning.
The original verse goes something like this:
Goosey goosey gander,
Whither shall I wander?
Upstairs and downstairs
And in my lady's chamber.
There I met an old man
Who wouldn't say his prayers,
So I took him by his left leg
And threw him down the stair (allnurseryrhymes.com)
There are other versions that deal with more specific ideas from which separate meanings have been interpreted.
Catholic priests being killed for continuing to keep the faith Image source: wikimedia commons
The primary interpretation is believed to be regarding the Catholic priests getting persecuted by King Henry VIII and his Protestant successors. Catholicism in England was frowned upon when King Henry established the Church of England. Anyone practicing Catholicism was put to death for treason. Many of the courtiers were hanged on this charge, and are noted in history as being martyrs for their faith.
Those who managed to practice their religion without being discovered did so in what was called a 'priest hole'. These were small rooms in the walls of a house that was covered by tapestry or a bookshelf. The required prayer instruments would be placed here, and the person would retire to this chamber at night, or at a time when they were not required elsewhere. The goose that wanders her mistress's house in the nursery rhyme discovers such a person, presumably a priest, and exposes him, or 'throws him down the stair'.
An alternative meaning to this rhyme originates from the lower class of England's population, a colloquial term used widely among the non-rich. The word 'goose' was used commonly to address a prostitute, and here, could possibly refer to a woman who has acquired an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). "Whither shall I wander?/ Upstairs and downstairs/ And in my lady's chamber," could be a reference to the spread of an infection that a man acquires from such a woman, which causes him to be ostracised from his community. It was quite common in England for an upper-classman to bed a lower-class woman in the society of those days.
It is rather interesting that such a practice would turn into folklore, and in turn, become a rhyme sung by little children all over the world. It has certain amusing images no doubt, but not without raising questions. England of the times of Reformation was certainly a dark place, with a terribly dark heritage.
Keywords: Heritage, Rhymes, Folklore, England, Reformation