A village in Rajasthan has banned all types of “fashion clothes” and use of mobile phone for women
The heads of the village, who have also banned the consumption and distribution of alcohol, believe these things to be a “cultural threat”
It is also a decision that is taken to “prevent sexual assaults”
July 16, 2017: The administrators of Baldiyapura, a village in Rajasthan, took the decision to ban ‘fashion clothes’ to be worn by the women such as jeans and tops to prevent sexual assaults.
Parents were directed by the village council to supervise that their daughters do not use mobile phones and wear western clothes. The council said that these things are ruining the local culture.
The council also threatened that these decisions are to be compulsorily implemented.
The distribution and consumption of alcohol are also banned by the council, violation of which will result in a penalty of Rs. 1000. Further, there is a reward for the informers who report the violators.
Kanasil Hariom Singh, the leader of the village council, called these things “social evils” and praised the decision of the Panchayat. He also linked the rise of sexual molestation and rape cases to the fact that women wear such clothes.
The village elders are to supervise younger one’s clothing and behaviour. The council also plans to meet on the first day of every month to see the progress after implementation.
The surrounding villages in Dholpur have raised protests, particularly the women’s groups. Dholpur’s official Vinod Kumar Meena criticised the restrictions on women but praised the ban on alcohol.
Many Indians try and correlate women’s clothing to their molestation chances. At This time when women safety is the biggest social issue domestically, such policies are an insult to the efforts of awareness by activists and feminists.
Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394
A deadly game of survival is on in the Sambhar lake of Rajasthan for decades — salt versus birds. The result came a few days back: thousands of birds were seen floating dead in the lake and their carcasses scattered on the edge of the 12 km catchment area.
The dead birds seen floating in this largest inland salt lake in the country, include plovers, common coot, black winged stilt, northern shovelers, ruddy shelduck, and pied avocet among many other migratory birds.
Harsh Vardhan, a renowned environmentalist, told IANS that no forest department official has ever been appointed to look after the lake. The lake comes under the Hindustan Salt Limited, a public limited enterprise formed in the post independence era to manufacture salt. Its job is to manufacture salt. So who should look after the lake; this has never been decided, he said.
The lake has not been handed to the forest department, and the area, where birds come, is no one’s land. Sambhar lake may be a part of the Hindustan Salt Ltd, but the company has nothing to do with the birds, he says.
The chief wildlife warden Arindam Tomar has maintained silence over the issue.
Even, Principal secretary, forest and environment Shreya Guha has washed her hands off the issue. All that she did was to a give statement that the Jaipur and Nagaur District Collectors have been asked to remove the bodies. She added that 4,800 birds have been dead till date, which is disputed by experts like Harsh Vardhan, who say that counting is not easy in the vast area.
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday held a meeting on the issue.
Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan questioned the presence of several private salt miners and entrepreneurs, who have set shops in and around the lake. “They dig tube wells which suck water from the land making it parched. The remaining water gets evaporated leaving crystal of salts which are packed and sold in gunny bags,” he said.
Lack of water and drought has haunted Sambhar lake for years. State government has been spending huge money to woo tourists through activities like mobiking, balloning, race, Bollywood shoots, etc. A resort on the rim of the lake showcases salt manufacturing for the tourists. Crores of Rupees have been spent on the upkeep of the narrow gauge train and watch stations, but birds and conversation issues were always overlooked.
As Sambhar lake went dry, concentration of salt deposits came up within it. The water from surrounding rivers, meant to flow into the lake, was diverted by the miners.
After witnessing drought for many years, this year the lake, however, brimmed with water due to heavy rains. The inflow made the water toxic due to the change in its alkalinity.
The excessive salt in the water led to the poisoning, causing hypernectremia, which is water deprivation due to sodium intoxication, Vardhan said.
It seems birds which came in high numbers due to high water quantity this season died due to hypernectermia after consuming their feed which is the planktons, the microrganisms found in water.
The only step that has ever been taken by any government in the state was in 1981 when it was decided to designate the site as wetland and was renamed as the Ramsar site.
According to an estimate, around 60,000 birds visited the lake in a year which has come down to less than 20,000.
Vardhan says that if the lake remains with the Hindustan Salt Limited, which has been a loss making unit since years or if it is handed over to the private operators, who do excessive mining of water, then the lake and the birds are sure to die.