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Meet 87 yr old Shila Ghosh, who toils hard to earn a living but scorns media hype

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image courtesy: Madanmohan Samanta
Image Courtesy: Madanmohan Samanta

By Arnab Mitra

Upon reaching a senile age, everyone wants to lead a peaceful and relaxed life at home, surrounded by family. However Shila Ghosh, who’s almost 87 years old, has a different story to tell.

At such a decrepit age, Shila has to sell homemade chips at a busy Exide crossing to support the meager income of her family.

In 2012, a Facebook post by college girl Sufia Khatoon brought the hard life of Shila Ghosh into the limelight. This led to various media outlets, from regional to national, covering her story.

The media, in a bid to serve their self-interests, presented different stories about her and started chasing her everywhere.

Shila wanted to earn her living with respect and lead a peaceful life, even by earning a pittance. But all the media coverage, instead of helping her, created havoc in her life.

In an interaction with Arnab Mitra of NewsGram, Shila Ghosh expressed her dissatisfaction with the media and talked about her daily struggle for sustenance.

AM: Why are you frustrated with the media?

Shila Ghosh: I don’t know how I came into the limelight. I just wanted to live my life with respect, and that is the only reason why I chose to work even at this age. But suddenly, the media started following me and made different types of stories. From morning to night, I found people were clicking my photos. All of this brought a new misery to my life. I had to leave my rented home as the landowner didn’t like this media nonsense. I have now shifted to my new rented home in Bally.

AM: Do you blame that college girl Sufia Khatoon for your miseries?

SG: No, she helps me a lot through her NGO. She is a young girl, I have never blamed her.

AM: Do you still have contact with her?

SG: No, she met me last December. After that, I haven’t had any contact with her.

AM: But after the media coverage many people might have helped you.

SG: I don’t want anyone’s help. I want to earn respectfully, not by sympathy.

AM: From where do you get your mental strength?

SG: In the Gita it is written, “Work is life. Do your work, never think of the result.” This has been my source of mental strength.

AM: What made you sell chips at this age?

SG: I don’t know, maybe it was written in my fate. I was born into a feudal family, my father was a doctor, my husband was a station master, and my son worked as an Upper-Division clerk at the Eastern Railways. After my son’s death in 2010, everything changed. My grandson was jobless, my daughter-in-law was a kidney patient, and I had to work to feed them.

AM: But your grandson should get his father’s job, according to the Government’s policies.

SG: I wrote a letter to the former Railway Minister Mamata Bannerjee, and she gave my grandson a job. But the locals felt jealous and my grandson was forced to leave his job on a court order.

AM: Can you give any details about that court order?

SG: I don’t know the details, maybe he did not have the requisite educational qualifications for that post.

AM: You are soon going to enter into the 90s club, for how long will you continue with your struggle?

SG: I want to work till my last breath. I have already got a chance to act in an upcoming Bengali film ‘Panther Panchali.’ I will play the role of Harihar’s mother in the film.

The interview was done by Arnab Mitra in Kolkata.

  • Kush

    awesome. salute you grand-maa. actually you are not woman, you are a Man.

    • Suhaana H Khan

      a man with a “wo”mb called “wo”man .. 🙂

      • Kush

        true.. 🙂

    • Priya

      I appreciate u acknowledging her strength 🙂 but I was a little offended as a woman myself that u measured her strength on a scale of gender. She is a woman, strength personified. We all hope and pray for her well being. God bless.

      • Kush

        then you have not read it carefully…I said “grand-maa”. Obviously it does not make sense whether it’s he or she. but in our society where men are responsible to bring livelihood for his families, she is doing it alone for her daughter-in-law ( patient) and grand son (jobless because of our society – again another story). Instead of blaming others she is continued to her work. that’s why.
        However, every one has feelings and expressions. and you are not the exception – “she is a woman, strength personified” !! You are feeling proud because she is a “woman” and I am because of the part of the same society where she is. Yes, she is a …

  • Tej Vedula

    Superrr Nanii!!!

  • Amit Pal Singh

    BIG SALUTE TO NANI , I M FROM DELHI , AND I WANT TO EAT THIS NANI’S CHIPS , IF I GOT THESE , THATS LIKE BLESSING FROM GOD . BUT SHE’S LOOKING LIKE BIGGER THAN GOD NOW

  • himanshu chaudhary

    I love uu dadi …lekkin mein..apke liye kuch nahi ..kar sakta sorry…. but i love uuu…

  • Ananda Kulal

    Any one can get contact numbers of her grandson or Shila Ghosh? so that one can try to help her. please send it to annuk9@gmail.com

  • Dr Jolly

    Attention,

    Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center

    Are you interested in selling your kidney to overcome all your financial problem, Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center. We offer free, no obligation assistance to international patients to find world class medical treatment.

    Do you want to buy a Kidney or you want to sell your kidney? Are you seeking for an opportunity to sell your kidney for money due to financial break down and you don’t know what to do, then contact us today and we shall offer you good amount of money for your Kidney we specialize for top class medical treatment like Heart Surgery, Cancer Care, Spinal fusion surgery , sleeve mastectomy surgery , and other major surgeries. contact us now via: abujakidneyfoundationcenter@gmail.com . Good luck Good luck to you.

    Best Regard

    Dr Jolly…

  • Johnson Anderson

    We are urgently in need of kidney donors in Apollo
    Hospital for the sum of $309,000.00 USD, Contact us
    now on email for more details..Email:drraymondb67@gmail.com
    Call Line: 91-7337879870
    WhatsAPP Number : 91-7406570913
    Doctor Raymond

  • Kush

    awesome. salute you grand-maa. actually you are not woman, you are a Man.

    • Suhaana H Khan

      a man with a “wo”mb called “wo”man .. 🙂

      • Kush

        true.. 🙂

    • Priya

      I appreciate u acknowledging her strength 🙂 but I was a little offended as a woman myself that u measured her strength on a scale of gender. She is a woman, strength personified. We all hope and pray for her well being. God bless.

      • Kush

        then you have not read it carefully…I said “grand-maa”. Obviously it does not make sense whether it’s he or she. but in our society where men are responsible to bring livelihood for his families, she is doing it alone for her daughter-in-law ( patient) and grand son (jobless because of our society – again another story). Instead of blaming others she is continued to her work. that’s why.
        However, every one has feelings and expressions. and you are not the exception – “she is a woman, strength personified” !! You are feeling proud because she is a “woman” and I am because of the part of the same society where she is. Yes, she is a …

  • Tej Vedula

    Superrr Nanii!!!

  • Amit Pal Singh

    BIG SALUTE TO NANI , I M FROM DELHI , AND I WANT TO EAT THIS NANI’S CHIPS , IF I GOT THESE , THATS LIKE BLESSING FROM GOD . BUT SHE’S LOOKING LIKE BIGGER THAN GOD NOW

  • himanshu chaudhary

    I love uu dadi …lekkin mein..apke liye kuch nahi ..kar sakta sorry…. but i love uuu…

  • Ananda Kulal

    Any one can get contact numbers of her grandson or Shila Ghosh? so that one can try to help her. please send it to annuk9@gmail.com

  • Dr Jolly

    Attention,

    Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center

    Are you interested in selling your kidney to overcome all your financial problem, Welcome to Abuja Kidney foundation center. We offer free, no obligation assistance to international patients to find world class medical treatment.

    Do you want to buy a Kidney or you want to sell your kidney? Are you seeking for an opportunity to sell your kidney for money due to financial break down and you don’t know what to do, then contact us today and we shall offer you good amount of money for your Kidney we specialize for top class medical treatment like Heart Surgery, Cancer Care, Spinal fusion surgery , sleeve mastectomy surgery , and other major surgeries. contact us now via: abujakidneyfoundationcenter@gmail.com . Good luck Good luck to you.

    Best Regard

    Dr Jolly…

  • Johnson Anderson

    We are urgently in need of kidney donors in Apollo
    Hospital for the sum of $309,000.00 USD, Contact us
    now on email for more details..Email:drraymondb67@gmail.com
    Call Line: 91-7337879870
    WhatsAPP Number : 91-7406570913
    Doctor Raymond

Next Story

Google gets the better of Facebook as top referral source for publishers

In 2016 Facebook tweaked its algorithm to prioritise posts from friends and family over publishers.

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Google has beaten Facebook to become publishers' main source of external page views over the course of 2017
Google has beaten Facebook to become publishers' main source of external page views over the course of 2017. VOA
  • Google webpage traffic increases considerably
  • Facebook went down by 26% in January as compared to last year
  • Video publishing feature might has add up to the Facebook traffic

San Francisco, Dec 12,2017: Google has beaten Facebook to become publishers’ main source of external page views over the course of 2017, a new data showed.

Google used to be the main source of referral traffic for web publishers. Then Facebook eclipsed it, ReCode reported late on Monday.

According to digital analytics company Parse.ly, Google sent more traffic than Facebook to publishers — Facebook sent 25 per cent less traffic to publishers in 2017, while Google increased its traffic by 17 per cent.

In January, Facebook provided nearly 40 per cent of publishers’ external traffic which is now down to 26 per cent.

Google web traffic
Google AMP feature has helped it to add up to the web traffic

Google, which started the year at 34 per cent, generated 44 per cent of the total traffic.

Parse.ly pointed out a number of factors for this turnaround.

In 2016 Facebook tweaked its algorithm to prioritise posts from friends and family over publishers.

Also, Facebook’s “Instant Articles” feature, where the service hosted some publishers’ content directly but promised to send more readers to the original site as well, has declined in importance, the analytics company found.

Since users can now publish videos directly on Facebook, this might have affected how many links to web stories publishers put on their Facebook pages.

Google’s “accelerated mobile pages” (AMP) feature, which also hosts publishers’ content directly on Google’s servers, became more important over the year.

AMP stories – typically from news publishers – are surfaced at the top of mobile search results as “Top Stories,” which drives clicks. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook Introduces Digital Training and Start-up hubs in India to Promote Digital Economy

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Facebook launched digital training in India
Facebook launched digital training in India.Pixaby.

New Delhi, Nov 23: Facebook on Wednesday introduced its digital training and start-up training hubs in India aimed at helping small businesses and people grow by giving them the digital skills they need to compete in today’s digital economy.

Facebook said it plans to train more than half a million people in the country by 2020 through these online training hubs, which are being rolled out first in India.

The learning curriculum which is personalised to the individual’s needs and available in English and Hindi on mobile, the social network, which is used by 217 million people in India, announced.

“We believe the best way to prepare India for a digital economy is by equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and skills they need to succeed,” said Ritesh Mehta, Head of Programmes, Facebook, India and South Asia.

To develop the learning curriculum, the social network worked with several organisations, including Digital Vidya, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), DharmaLife and the government’s StartupIndia initiative.

The curriculum includes vital skills for digital skill seekers and tech entrepreneurs, including how to protect their ideas, how to hire, how to go about getting funding, what regulations and legal hurdles they need to consider, how to build an online reputation, and a host of other critical skills.

This could mean teaching a small business owner how to create an online presence; helping a non-profit reach new communities and potential donors; or it could mean helping a tech entrepreneur turn their product idea into a startup through practical business advice.

Facebook said its digital training hub would provide free social and content marketing training for anyone – from students to business owners – who is looking to develop their digital knowledge and skills.

According to new research by Morning Consult in partnership with Facebook, small businesses use of digital translates into new jobs and opportunities for communities across the country.

Since 2011 Facebook has invested more than $1 billion to support small businesses globally.

The “Boost Your Business” and “SheMeansBusiness” initiatives have trained more than 60,000 small businesses, including 12,000 women entrepreneurs, in India, Facebook said. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook, Google, Bing and Twitter Join The Trust Project to Help Users Combat Fake News

In their bid to combat fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan "The Trust Project"

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To Combat Fake News
To Combat Fake News Facebook, Twitter , Google have joined 'The Trust Project'. PIxabay.

San Francisco, Nov 19: In their bid to combat fake news and help readers identify trustworthy news sources, Facebook, Google, Twitter and several media organisations have joined the non-partisan “The Trust Project”.

“The Trust Project” is led by award-winning journalist Sally Lehrman of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Centre for Applied Ethics.

Starting from Friday, an icon will appear next to articles in Facebook News Feed.

When you click on the icon, you can read information on the organisations’ ethics and other standards, the journalists’ backgrounds, and how they do their work.

“Leading media companies representing dozens of news sites have begun to display ‘Trust Indicators’. These indicators, created by leaders from more than 75 news organisations also show what type of information people are reading a” news, opinion, analysis or advertising,” the university said in a statement.

Each indicator is signalled in the article and site code, providing the first standardised technical language for platforms to learn more from news sites about the quality and expertise behind journalists’ work.

“Google, Facebook, Bing and Twitter have all agreed to use the indicators and are investigating and piloting ideas about how to best to use them to surface and display quality journalism,” the university said.

German press agency DPA, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, the Independent Journal Review, Mic, Italy’s La Republica and La Stampa, Trinity Mirror and The Washington Post are among the companies starting to go live with “Trust Indicators” this month.

The Institute for Non-profit News has developed a WordPress plug-in to facilitate broader implementation by qualified publishers.

“An increasingly sceptical public wants to know the expertise, enterprise and ethics behind a news story. The Trust Indicators put tools into people’s hands, giving them the means to assess whether news comes from a credible source they can depend on,” Lehrman explained.

The eight core indicators are: Best Practices; Author Expertise; Type of Work; Citations and References; Methods; Locally Sourced; Diverse Voices and Actionable Feedback.

New organisations like the BBC and Hearst Television have collaborated in defining the “Trust Indicator” editorial and technical standards, and in developing the processes for implementing these.

“Quality journalism has never been more important,” said Richard Gingras, vice president of news products at Google.

“We hope to use the Type of Work indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as Best Practices and Author Info in our Knowledge Panels.”

“The Trust Indicators will provide a new level of accessibility and insight into the news that people on Facebook see day in and day out,” said Alex Hardiman, Head of News Products at Facebook.

A growing number of news outlets are expected to display the indicators over the next six months, with a second phase of news partners beginning implementation work soon. (IANS)