IRCTC CSR, NGO to Treat Patients With Life-Threatening Blood Disorder

20-year-old Harish battling Thalassemia Major receives his first blood tranfusion at TWF's newly inaugurated centre at Bhailal Amin Hospital in Vadodara, Gujarat. (Source: TWF)

As part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, the IRCTC will deliver Rs 13 lakh to the NGO. This sum will be spent on equipping blood transfusion centres in Pune and Ajmer with modern equipment that are both safe and efficient. In Pune, the facility will be built in partnership with the Indian Red Cross Society, while TWF is in talks with various medical facilities and organisation for the Ajmer centre.

“In most cities, blood banks are yet not able to provide nucleic acid testing facilities, which eliminates the chances of transfusion-related infections such as Hepatitis, etc.,” says Partth Thakur, founder and chairperson of TWF. As a patient suffering from Thalassemia major, Thakur is keenly aware of what more is required to tackle this problem.

“More importantly, the price of leukocyte blood filters should come down substantially. At current prices, the facility is way beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, thus leaving them with little option but not to use one,” he adds.

Also, these blood transfusion centres will also double up as a repository for iron chelation pumps. What these pumps do is get rid of the excess iron from a patient’s body. One such pump costs approximately Rs 36,000 in the open market.

Speaking to The Better India, senior members of TWF have said that these facilities will provide the pump to a patient free of charge which he/she will return after use. While the Indian Railways is funding the refurbishing of these centres, the recurring costs will be taken care of through contributions from individual donations and the managing trustee of TWF.

The project is slated for completion by the end of January 2018.

20-year-old Harish battling Thalassemia Major receives his first blood tranfusion at TWF's newly inaugurated centre at Bhailal Amin Hospital in Vadodara, Gujarat. (Source: TWF)

“Of all the patients registered with us most of them are underprivileged and find it difficult to avail of basic healthcare facilities like blood filters during blood transfusion and an infusion pump for iron chelation,” says Komal Mishra, President of TWF.

“Since last year, we at TWF, have focussed on looking after the healthcare needs of patients who cannot afford it and the blood transfusion centre is one such endeavour of ours to overcome it. In the upcoming year, we plan to work setting up infusion pump libraries at different blood transfusion centres so that maximum patients can benefit out of it,” Mishra adds.

Earlier this year, TWF secured ISO 9001:2015 certification. Their objective is to work towards raising the standard of living for patients in different cities by providing lifesaving medicines and giving them a sense of community.

“Looking at their past accomplishments and the purpose of providing best healthcare facilities, we went ahead with this association,” said MP Mall, the CMD of IRCTC. “We hope to bring the much-needed attention towards providing safe blood transfusion facilities to the patients and thereby enable them to live a healthy life.”

TWF’s tie-up with IRCTC is one such step towards making the lives of these patients easier. “We need more companies and individuals to associate with us so that we can improve the Thalassemia scenario in India,” Thakur adds.

New anti-trafficking law soon covering Blackmail, Pornography, Prostitution, Forced labour & Servitude etc.

Representative photograph


NEW DELHI: The government is set to introduce a law to guard against human trafficking, proposing a 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking” while seeking life imprisonment for repeat offenders.
A bill to identify various forms of trafficking, including for the purposes of bonded labour, sexual exploitation, pornography, removal of organs and begging, has proposed severe punishment for those engaging in the heinous crime.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2017, initiated by the Women & Child Development Ministry, is currently with a Group of Ministers (GoM) that will take a final view on the matter, official sources told TOI.

The bill proposes the establishment of a national anti-trafficking bureau, which shall be entrusted with the gamut of issues aimed at controlling and tackling the menace under various forms. These include coordination, monitoring and surveillance of illegal movement of persons and their prevention. The bureau will also be entrusted with increasing cooperation and coordination with authorities concerned and organisations in foreign countries for strengthening operational and long-term intelligence for investigation of trafficking cases, and driving in mutual legal assistance.


Listing out the ‘aggravated forms of trafficking’, the bill speaks about offences such as forced labour, or bonded labour, by using violence, intimidation, inducement, promise of payment of money, deception or coercion. Also, it mentions trafficking after administering any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or alcohol, or for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage.

The aggravated form also includes trafficking for the purpose of begging or forcing those who are mentally ill or are pregnant. “Whoever commits the offence of aggravated form of trafficking of a person shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years, but which may extend to life imprisonment and shall be liable to fine that shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh,” the bill proposes.

For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life “which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life”, apart from a fine that will not be less than Rs 2 lakh.

As per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), human trafficking numbers rose by almost 20% in 2016 against the previous year. NCRB said there were 8,132 human trafficking cases last year against 6,877 in 2015, with the highest number of cases reported in West Bengal (44% of cases), followed by Rajasthan (17%).

Of the 15,379 victims who were caught in trafficking, 10,150 were female and 5,229 males. NCRB said the purpose of trafficking included forced labour; sexual exploitation for prostitution; other forms of sexual exploitation; domestic servitude; forced marriage; child pornography; begging; drug peddling; and removal of organs. It is believed that the numbers recorded by NCRB are a far cry to actual incidences of trafficking as many cases went unreported with many people still unaware of the crime or lacking confidence to seek police help.

For those engaging in ‘buying or selling’ a person, the bill proposes rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than seven years which can be extended to 10 years with a fine upwards of Rs 1 lakh. The bill also seeks punishment for those engaging in trafficking with the help of media, including print, internet, digital or electronic. It stipulates a punishment of not less than seven years which can go up to 10 years and a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh.
“Whoever distributes or sells or stores, in any form in any electronic or printed form showing incidence of sexual exploitation, sexual assault or rape for the purpose of extortion or for coercion of the victim or his/her family members, or for unlawful gain, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but may extend to seven years.”
 Apart from the national bureau, the bill also aims at having state-level anti-trafficking officers who shall also provide relief and rehabilitation services through district units and other civil-society organisations.

The bill also spells out measures towards relief and rehabilitation for the victims of trafficking, and seeks the formation of a committee for this purpose. The committee is proposed to be headed by the women & child development secretary and would have members from the ministries of home; external affairs; labour and employment; social justice and empowerment; panchayati raj; and heath and family welfare.

NGOs Directed to Open FCRA Account with 32 Banks only

Home Ministry directs NGOs to open account in any designated bank in a month for transparency

The Home Ministry has directed all NGOs, business entities and individuals who receive funds from abroad to open accounts in any of the 32 designated banks, including one foreign, within a month for higher level of transparency. It also asked them to ensure that such funds are not utilised for activities detrimental to the national interest.
The directive to the NGOs, companies and individuals to open foreign contribution accounts in banks, which are integrated with the central government’s Public Financial Management System (PFMS), came for providing a higher level of transparency and hassle-free reporting compliance, according to the ministry order, accessed by the PTI.

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010 provides for the regulation of acceptance of the foreign funds or foreign hospitality by certain individuals, associations, organisations and companies “to ensure that such contributions or hospitality is not being utilised for the activities detrimental to the national interest”, it said.

Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under the FCRA, 2010, the central government hereby directs all persons who are either registered or who have sought prior permission under the FCRA 2010 to open their bank accounts as mandated in one or more banks in the list of the 32 banks, the order said.

This exercise shall be completed expeditiously within one month (by 21-01-2018) with intimation of the details of the bank accounts to the ministry under a prescribed form, it said.

The central government has already decided that all banks where the FCRA registered persons and organisations have opened their foreign contribution accounts would be integrated with the PFMS for providing a higher level of “transparency and hassle-free” reporting compliance.

While some banks have already integrated their systems with the PFMS for compliance of the central government’s order, many banks have still not completed the integration of their systems with the PFMS despite repeated letters, directions and meetings, the home ministry said.

The 32 designated banks where individuals, NGOs and other entities can open their accounts are: Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, ICICI Bank, The Cosmos Co-Operative Bank, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, South Indian Bank, IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd, The Catholic Syrian Bank Ltd, HDFC Bank, UCO Bank, IndusInd Bank Limited, City Union Bank and Syndicate Bank.

Allahabad Bank, The Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd, Punjab National Bank, Allahabad UP Gramin Bank, DCB Bank Ltd, Manipur State Co-op Bank, Vijaya Bank, Bombay Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd, Yes Bank, Oriental Bank Of commerce, Dena Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Andhra Bank and Axis Bank are the others.

The PFMS, which functions under the Controller General of Accounts in the Ministry of Finance, provides a financial management platform for all plan schemes, a database of all recipient agencies, integration with core banking solution of banks handling plan funds, integration with state treasuries and efficient and effective tracking of fund flow to the lowest level of implementation for plan scheme of the government.

It also provides information across all plan schemes/ implementation agencies in the country on fund utilisation leading to better monitoring, review and decision support system to enhance public accountability in the implementation of plan schemes.

Introduction of the PFMS resulted in effectiveness and economy in public finance management through better cash management for government transparency in public expenditure and real-time information on resource availability and utilisation across schemes.

It also resulted in improved programme administration and management, reduction of float in the system, direct payment to beneficiaries and greater transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

Early this year, the home ministry had asked around 9,000 NGOs and other entities to open their accounts in banks having core banking facilities and furnish details for real-time access to security agencies in case of any discrepancy.

The Narendra Modi-led government tightened the rules for NGOs and took action against all such entities for violation of various provisions of the FCRA 2010 which include non- filing of annual returns as mandated in the law.

Last week, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told Parliament that the registrations of 18,868 NGOs were cancelled between 2011 and 2017 for violating laws. Following the action, foreign funding to Indian NGOs has also come down drastically–from Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16 to Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17.

Rijiju had said the quantum of foreign funding received by NGOs in India in the last three years were: Rs 15,299 crore in 2014-15, Rs 17,773 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 6,499 crore in 2016-17.

Currently, around 10,000 FCRA-registered NGOs are operating in the country.

Social Worker – Ashwini Lakhmale

35 year old Ashwini Lakhmale is associated with MAULI BAHHIDESHIYA SEWABHAWI SANSTHA, PAITHAN, DIST AURANGABAD in Maharashtra. Inspired by his Grandfather, a Freedom Fighter; Ashwini has taken to his footsteps as his Ideal. The MAULI BAHHIDESHIYA SEWABHAWI SANSTHA is engaged in education, Health and Women Empowerment.

Ashwini Lakhmale was awarded with the Women day Award, for his work.

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New Role for NGOs – E Waste Management

Delhi Public School (DPS)-Patna, Foundation School-Buxar and Shri Ram Centennial School (SRCS)-Patna were rewarded at a workshop here on Tuesday for their commitment towards working for a sustainable environment. It was organized under Karo Sambhav school programme, which aims at building awareness and inspiring students to act on recycling of e-waste (waste from old and unused electronic equipment).

Dps was rewarded for maximum collection of e-waste, Foundation School-Buxar for best execution of toolkits and SRCS-Patna got the best sustainable school award. Senior scientist of Bihar State Pollution Control Board Naveen Kumar honoured the representatives of the schools and appreciated their endeavours. “Such programmes encourage the students to lead a sustainable life and inspire them to become the catalysts of change,” Kumar said.

Around 75 schools from across the state participated in the three-phase awareness programme over a period of four months. In the initial phase, teachers were given training on the specially designed toolkit, consisting of six exercises based on circular economy, understanding waste, design for environment, e-waste introduction and collection, petitions and potential career options in the field of environment.
Organisers said the e-waste awareness initiatives, first of its kind in the country, comprise strategies like circular economy and inspiring the students and teachers alike to take actions in their daily lives. “We have designed a curriculum which enables development of teacher’s competence and empowers them to achieve the goals. We target students as it would cover many households in the city and make recyclable chain more environment-friendly.”

The teachers and students explained how the programme helped them to become responsible citizens to make the cleaner, greener and smarter city.