Thursday November 23, 2017

Women in Mumbai fighting for Right to Pee and want men to join campaign

Image source: Wikipedia
  • Right to Pee is a campaign which seeks to gather the attention to the lack of free, clean and safe public toilets for women in Mumbai.
  • 33 NGO have joined hands for this campaign in Mumbai.
  • The shortage of toilets is a nationwide issue: more than half India’s adolescent girls, about 63 million, have no access to a private toilet, according to an NGO Dasra.

Mumbai: Many activists and charities have joined hands for greater gender sensitivity. They started a campaigning for better access to public toilets for women in Mumbai

33 non-profit organizations have made their collaborative effort for this campaign and are calling it The Right to pee campaign. This initiative seeks to gather the attention to the lack of free, clean and safe public toilets for women in Mumbai

In the city of more than 22 million, only about one-third of the 11,000 or so pay-to-use toilets are for women.

“There is a huge disparity between facilities for men and women, largely due to the gender insensitivity of the authorities,” said Supriya Sonar, an activist with the Right to Pee campaign. “Which is why we are telling men who pee in the open: you too don’t have adequate facilities, so why don’t you join our campaign.”

The lack of adequate sanitation costs India the equivalent of more than 6 percent of its gross domestic product every year, according to non-profit Dasra, an Indian foundation promoting social change.

The issue is particularly important to slum dwellers – more than half Mumbai’s population – and to those who work on construction sites and on the streets.

Public toilets for women are often dirty, with broken doors and no running water or lights. Where there are no public toilets, the search for a suitable place comes with the constant threat of sexual harassment or rape.

Women who lack access to clean, safe sanitation tend to drink less water and control their bladders for as many as 13 hours a day. This has significant, long-term effects on their reproductive, sexual and overall health, Dasra said in a report released last week.

In Mumbai, where men can often be seen urinating at street corners and near dumpsters, almost 100 sites have been identified for the construction of toilets for women.

“But nothing has been built, and the funds have lapsed,” said activist Sonar, who on Monday returned an award the Mayor’s office gave to the campaign last year, saying there had been no progress.

“This is about a woman’s dignity,” she said. “We urge the Mumbai corporation to think about that. And we urge men who pee in the open to also join this campaign to bring more pressure on the authorities.”

The shortage of toilets is a nationwide issue: more than half India’s adolescent girls, about 63 million, have no access to a private toilet, according to Dasra.

Girls tend to miss school for an average of six days a month because of the lack of safe toilets there, leading to almost a quarter of them dropping out of education on reaching puberty. This “sharply degrades their potential as individuals and future workers,” Dasra said.

The United Nations said in a 2014 report that it was a “tragic irony” that there were more mobile phones per 100 people in India than toilets.

In economic terms, the importance of tackling the problem is that there is a return of between $3 and $34 for every dollar spent on sanitation, through reduced poverty and health costs, and higher productivity, the United Nations said.

PM Modi launched the “Clean India Mission” in 2014 aimed at improving sanitation and increase funding for public toilets to stop open defecation.

The ” Smart cities” initiative also aims at improving roads , utilities and sanitation.(reuter)

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)