90% OF THE CHILDREN IN INDIA ARE DEPRIVED OF ADEQUATE NUTRITION: Report by CRY Ngo

According to the reports of a leading Indian NGO called CRY, most children in India under the age of 2 years do not have access to good quality food and adequate nutrition. The NGO based their report on the figures of the recent data released by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) (2015-16 which shows that Nine out of 10 children in the age group of 6 to 23 months do not receive an adequate diet.

This data is very disappointing as kids who do not have a healthy start and are under-nourished bear the brunt of it in adulthood. According to Komal Ganotra, Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy for CRY (Child Rights and You),”Illnesses in children and lack of adequate and appropriate nutrition is a vicious cycle which needs constant attention through preventive as well as promotive approaches.

It has been further recorded that four out of five worst performing states when it comes to a child’s diet are from North India. Rajasthan is at the bottom where only about three per cent children have access to good food and in Uttar Pradesh the figure is slightly higher where five per cent children are well nourished. As far as the National capital is concerned, despite being one of the most equipped cities, only six per cent of the children in the city receive proper nutrition. Even Tamil Nadu which has the highest percentage of children receiving adequate nutrition, the number does not cross 31 per cent.
Ganotra also attributes this to the health of the mothers and says that the child’s health depends on the nutrition supplied to him or her in the mother’s womb. But the figures in this case too are dismal. Fifty per cent of the pregnant women (15-49 years) were found to be anaemic according to the NFHS-4 and only 21 per cent received complete antenatal care. Poor health of mothers is affecting the physical as well as the mental development of their children.

“The Integrated Child Development Scheme, which addresses nutritional needs of children in an early age (under 6) and expectant mothers, has the right intent to ensure a solid foundation for children when maximum brain development occurs.It is non-negotiable for the state to ensure adequate budget and robust implementation mechanism for greater convergence of health and nutrition services for every child in the country,” Ganotra concluded.

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Women Burnt With Acid, Kerosene Lack Support To Rebuild Their Lives, Says NGO

Tens of thousands of women are attacked and burned with acid, kerosene, gas or alcohol every year, yet ignorance about the long-term impact of their injuries means few receive support to rebuild their lives, a non-profit said.

The Chennai-based International Foundation for Crime Prevention and Victim Care (PCVC), which works with victims of domestic violence, said burn attacks are one of the worst forms of violence against women.

Not only do many victims suffer deformities and disfigurement, they also face trauma and low self-esteem, and lack the will to continue with their lives, it added.

PCVC said even though victims in India received medical treatment, there was little else in terms of support — leaving many to cope alone with the dramatic changes to their lives.

“With no disrespect to other forms of violence against women, those who suffer from burns suffer uniquely because of overt social stigma and family rejection, many of them doubly so because they are poor, uneducated or unskilled,” said PCVC Founder and CEO Prasanna Gettu.

Ms Gettu, who was speaking at the launch of a handbook and national helpline to support burn victims, said it was essential to provide psycho-social, legal and financial help for victims.

There is no accurate data on the number of people suffering burn injuries in India. A June 2016 medical paper published on the science website, Researchgate, estimates there are seven million injuries every year — resulting in 140,000 deaths.

The paper said women account for 65 per cent of deaths caused by burn injuries. Although some deaths are due to accidents in the kitchen or house fires, many result from domestic violence.

Newspapers often report cases of women being attacked with acid by jilted partners or being doused in kerosene and then set alight by their husbands or in-laws in rows over dowry.

Activists say most attacks against women using acid, kerosene or alcohol are perpetrated by husbands, partners or other families. But they also say some women are driven to self-immolation or suicide by some form of abuse

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NGO Deccan Development Society (DDS) – Making waves: First all-women radio station of Telangana

About 110 km from Hyderabad, Pastapur is a small village in Telangana’s Sangareddy district. It is making waves: Running a community radio — run by women, for women and of women belonging to weaker sections.

Billed as India’s first such initiative, ‘Sangam Radio’ covers nearly 150 villages in the district with programmes packed with social messages, folk songs, farming and health tips, skits and information about local festivals and fairs. The two-hour long programme, broadcast from 7 pm to 9 pm every day, is conceived and executed by members of women’s groups, or Sangams, as they are called.

“You can see people in all these villages glued to their radio sets in the evenings to listen to our programmes. We also have an interactive session where callers can share their experiences with us,” says producer H Narsamma, a Dalit woman, the brain behind the initiative. She and her colleagues work in the fields during the day and turn broadcasters by the evening. An all-women bureau of reporters goes out into the field to get stories.

“When we visit a village, we meet different kinds of people and record their observations on various issues, including farming. We also record songs that are sung while working in the fields or during weddings and festivals,” Narasamma says.

Narsamma and Algole Narsamma multitask as reporter, producer, RJ and station managers. Theirs has been an arduous journey. Help came from the local NGO Deccan Development Society (DDS), engaged in rural development, women empowerment and education. It started the project in 1998, but had to wait for nearly 10 years to get a licence from the Centre. It went on air on October 15, 2008.

The DDS works with about 100 Dalit women’s groups (Sangams) consisting of nearly 5,000 members across 75 villages. With the support from UNESCO, it established an FM radio station, a transmission tower and recording facilities in the village. The radio was conceived with the objective of helping the village communities articulate their concerns, give the marginalized a voice and disseminate the traditional knowledge about farming, biodiversity, and public health.

While awaiting the government’s approval, Sangam had in 1999 started narrow-casting in which recordings were made on a tape and was broadcast for a limited audience in a place where the communities could gather. Half-a-dozen women from Dalit, poor, landless families were trained in all aspects of radio programming. The radio now runs with eight reporters and all of them are on the rolls of the DDS. Over the years, Sangam has collected of about 2,500 songs sung by members of the community, often with instrumental accompaniment.

“We were identified as a partner for UNESCO’s ‘Women Speak to Women’ project. As part of this, we established the radio station with the programming content aimed at serving the information, education, and cultural needs of the region,” says Director of DDS, PV Satheesh. The information specific to agricultural needs, education, literacy, public health and hygiene, environmental issues, food security, gender justice and indigenous knowledge systems went into the programming content.

Initially, UNESCO gave Rs 28 lakh to set up the radio station. The funds were utilized for buying land. The transmitter also came in as a donation from UNESCO. The DDS pays for the maintenance and production of programmes which cost around Rs 4 lakh a year. It is currently being assisted by development and communication experts from universities in the region.

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NGO Nature Watch India pushes for campaign to save leopards, writes to PM

Concerned over the declining population of leopards, NGO Nature Watch India (NWI) has made a plea for launching ‘Project Leopard’ on the sidelines of ‘Project Tiger’ to protect leopards and save them from extinction.

“The wild life department is capturing and killing leopards without ascertaining whether the leopard is a man-eater or not,” convener of NWI Rajeshwar Singh Negi said and challenged the claims of the department regarding increase in population of leopards.

In a 10-page memorandum sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NWI said widespread lynching, poaching, capturing and trade of leopard skin and body parts to China and other South Asian countries had driven leopards on the verge of extinction. It was high time that ‘Project Leopard’ was launched to make the state wildlife department follow the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the standard operating procedures and provisions of the Wild Life Protection Act.

Claiming that as per the customs department records, nearly 200 leopard killings were detected every year, Negi said the actual number of unregulated killing of leopards was 10 times more, which implied that leopards would become extinct in the next 15 years.

He said as per the national census of leopards conducted in 2015, their population was 7,000 in and around tiger reserves and about 5,000 across the country. He said a large number of leopards were killed or captured in Himachal by the wild life department and displaced from their natural habitat.

Negi said the NWI would also meet Union Minister Menaka Gandhi in this regard and also raise the issue of constitution of a task force by the Himachal government for culling of monkeys.

Buy generic Cialis Soft 20 mg Concern over lynching

  • In a 10-page memorandum sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the NWI said widespread lynching, poaching, capturing and trade of leopard skin and body parts to China and other South Asian countries had driven leopards on the verge of extinction.
  • It was high time that ‘Project Leopard’ was launched to make the state wildlife department follow the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

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Prajwala, an NGO highlights shocking instances of uploading of gang rape videos on Yahoo and WhatsApp messenger services

WhatsApp Inc has told the Supreme Court that it was ready to cooperate with the court-appointed high-power committee, mandated to find a technical solution to block rape videos and other sexually offensive clips on social networking sites.

The top court had on April 11 issued notice to WhatsApp Inc seeking its response. It had said the company could to make a presentation, if possible through video conferencing, to assist the committee.

The company told a Bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that its officials would meet the committee set up by the court to explore ways and means to block such offensive videos.

“We will also be part and parcel of the whole initiative. They (WhatsApp Inc) are sending their people to sit with the committee and explain everything, senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the Bench on behalf of the company on Thursday.

The meeting is likely to be held on April 27.

Sibal said experts from Whatsapp would explain to the panel all the technical aspects, including the encryption technology and assist them in finding a solution to the problem.

The top court had on March 22 constituted a high-power committee comprising senior government officials and representatives from social networking sites to explore technological solutions to rape videos and child pornographic material getting uploaded and circulated on social networking sites.

Headed by Dr Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the committee will have Dr Sanjay Behl of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, Rakesh Maheshwari, a cyber law and security expert with the government, two representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs and two representatives each from Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

The Bench had given 15 days to the committee beginning April 5 to meet, deliberate and suggest solutions to the problem.

The Bench said if the committee came to the conclusion that there was no technological solution available to the problem, it should give reasons and explain why it was not possible to block uploading and circulating videos of rape, gang rape and child pornography. It ordered the committee to submit its report in a sealed cover on the next date of hearing.

The court is seized of a PIL filed by Prajwala, an NGO, highlighting shocking instances of uploading of gang rape videos on Yahoo and WhatsApp messenger services. In February 2015, it had taken suo motu cognisance of a letter written by the NGO and converted it into a PIL. The NGO had also sent two gang rape videos with its letter for appropriate action.

Earlier, cyber security experts from the CBI had told the Bench that the Internet was a “wild highway” and blocking objectionable content at the source was a technical challenge for which clear guidelines needed to be issued to stop circulation of such material.

They had told the top court that 50 countries have set up hotlines to stop child abuse in their jurisdiction but India was yet to start such a service.

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FREE HEALTH CHECK-UP & GO CASHLESS DIGITAL LITERACY PROGRAM BY PRAGATEE FOUNDATION

Pragatee Foundation organized a FREE HEALTH CHECK-UP and GO CASHLESS DIGITAL LITERACY PROGRAM on occasion of birth Anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj on 19th February 2017 at Shirvane Village, Senior Citizen Club , Navi Mumbai.

 

Senior Citizen Club is having more than 500 members who benefited through Pragatee Foundation’s Free Health Check-up Camp. Eye check-up and complete body check-up with ECG test were conducted in association with Mumbai’s famous hospital Seven Hills Hospital. Patients who were found with heart problems and health problem would be treated in the hospital free of cost through this medical camp. Cataract Eye Surgery patients were also found and would be treated free of cost in Mumbai’s well-known hospital. All expenses will be borne by Pragatee Foundation.

 

As a part of awareness campaign Pragatee Foundation organized GO CASHLESS DIGITAL LITERACY PROGRAM for members of Senior citizen club. Senior scientist Mr. Manas Ray and his colleague Mr. Parag Modi from STPI delivered speech and made a special presentation with practices to present audiences. Pragatee foundation’s Mr. Kiran Rane translated into the local language and trained the audiences about cash less transaction. During this seminar trainer focused on various important topics like Type of Digital transactions, mode of digital payment, available options to perform digital payment, safety and security in digital payment, importance of Aadhar card link bank account etc.

 

Program was co-sponsored by Navi Mumbai’s Vimal Foundation and Govt of India’s STPI. Program was organized by Pragatee Foundation in association with Vimal Foundation & Seven Hills Hospital, cosponsor by ITM Group of Institute, Vimal Catering, YUVA PRAGATEE, and Tulsi herbal product. ITM Group of Institute’s Mr. Manohar Shingate and Mr. Sagar Gole informed audiences about various courses available to HSC passed out students in ITM. Free tea and snacks were provided by Vimal Catering services.

 

Pragatee Foundation’s Mr. Kiran Rane, Mr. Rakesh Wani, Mr. Chinmay Chavan, Mr. Pranay Dhamal, Mr. Hrishikesh Mhatre, Vimal Foundation’s Mr. Prakash Dhasal, Mr. Aakash Dhasal, Mr. Vikas Dhasal, Mr. Jabbar, Senior Citizen club’s Mr. Nemane, Mr. Baile and Mr. Naik were present during this event.

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Disha Organises Free Cardiac Care Camp

Many benefitted from Free Cardiac Care Camp

In view of the ever rising stress levels in the society and the resulting heart conditions which are fatal at times, if not checked; Disha- Harbinger of Social Change and Development,a Chandigarh based NGO joined hands with KarePartners Heart Centre, to sensitize people; organized a Cardiac Care Camp at the Gurudwara in Sector 43,Chandigarh,here on Sunday Feb. 19th (today).

Various tests pertaining to cardiac health care were conducted and professional suggestions were given to the visitors creating awareness among individuals about heart, blood sugar and hypertension. Basic examinations were done which included checking of Blood pressure, blood sugar, weight and pulse. ECG  tests were also done at site for the needed. And then accordingly medicine was prescribed.
More than 60 men and women from different age groups and different income groups were examined at the free cardiac care camp.

The professional team from KarePartners Heart Centre was led by Dr.Gauravjit Singh, Head Operations and Dr. Ashutosh Bhardwaj, D.M. Cardiology, accompanied by three technicians and three nursing sisters. Smt. Simrit Kaur (President), Smt. Jatinder Kaur (Vise President), Smt. Lata Dua (Secretary) and Smt. Usha Khanna (Executive Member) of DIsha NGO felicitated the team with souvenirs. Student volunteers- Anu Dhiman, Harinder Rajpal and Dharmesh Minah assisted in the conducting of the camp. All other members of Disha NGO were also present during the camp.

 

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Radio Udaan-A Digital Innovation

Radio Udaan-A Digital Innovation

Twenty four year old Jyoti  Malik had a dream to serve the youth by providing them information, education and entertainment through a community Radio. She worked tirelessly and completed the coding of a website and launched it during Feburary 2014.Jyoti is the programme manager running the Radio Udaan studio at Ludhiana .

Danish Mahajan,The Seceratary General of Radio Udaan is the coordinating Radio jockey moderating the serious debates and interviewing experts. His forceful voice will remind you of Arnav  Goswamy and Karan Thapar. Maniing the studio at Gurdaspur in Punjab, He also looks after public relations and networking.

Meenal Singhvi is the president of Radio Udaan at hyderabad conducting several programme from the studio there. Bala Nagenderan,now an IAS officer trainee holds the fort at Chennai.Rajiv Bhambri schedules the daily programmes and circulates them to all the listeners through whatsapp and emails.

This core team is supported by another team of Radio jockeys handling different programmes on technology, books, music,youth affairs,interviews and reasoning/quiz session.

All this and more with no financial assistance from anywhere,nor any membership fee. All the team members contribute to maintain the website domain and produce the programme in studio or outdoors. All of them spend from their pocket expenses on internet,travel,power and devices.They also undertake public relations for their programmes and send out youtube links to the interested members.

Udaan Social Welfare Society,running the Radio Udaan has over fifteen thousand listeners world wide. You can also be a listener by tunning to radio udaan .You do not need a conventional radio. Just download the Radio Udaan app from google playstore or iphone aapstore and enjoy the infotainment on the go.

They call it Radio Udaan –A flight of life. However it is more of –A flight of imagination by those who dream with open eyes. Radio Udaan is an enterprise of the visually impaired young boys and girls.Their blindness appears to show light by being an inspiration to their sighted and normal counterparts.

Indeed,vision does not require  sight.

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NGO’s Rescue Sexually Abused Children

Each story is sadder than the next, but what is most heartbreaking is to see the indifference shown towards these children by the police. To break this silence of complicity NGOs decided to organise a public hearing with victims restating their experiences.

A 16-year-old girl with her hand decorated with henna stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi November 9, 2012. She was working as a maid and was later rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labour. There are no reliable figures for how many people are trafficked for domestic servitude. The Indian government says 126,321 trafficked children were rescued from domestic work in 2011/12, a rise of almost 27 percent from the previous year. Activists say if you include women over 18 years, the figure could run into the hundreds of thousands. Picture taken November 9, 2012. To match Feature INDIA-TRAFFICKING/ REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: SOCIETY POVERTY) - RTR3B6GZ

India is reported to have 12 million children working in forced labour. The figure alone would boggle the mind and yet this is an issue no wants to address.It is to break this silence of complicity that the NGO HAQ: Centre for Child Rights and Campaign Against Child Trafficking decided to organise a public hearing in mid-June, the first of its kind in India, where children who had faced the trauma of being trafficked went public with their horrifying stories.Each testimony is sadder than the next, but what is most heartbreaking is to see the indifference shown towards these children by the police and other law enforcement agencies.Some of the pain suffered by these young lives could have been mitigated if the police had taken timely action. A common thread that runs through these young lives is that of poverty and how many of them tried to escape their plight by wanting to make some easy money.
A 13-year-old child told the jury, comprising of former additional solicitor general Siddhartha Luthra, theatre personality Lushin Dubey and journalist Om Thanvi, of how she was on her way to the neighbourhood market along with two of her friends when she was kidnapped by two men she had seen in the colony.She was drugged and kept in an isolated room where she was raped and then, one week later, sold to become a prostitute for Rs 200,000.Her kidnappers gave her a daily dose of steroids so she could look like a grown woman, after which she was sold to a brothel in Siliguri, West Bengal, for Rs 800,000. The brothel’s owner forced her to engage both in prostitution and drug peddling.Meanwhile, her parents had filed a missing persons complaint. After seven months, the family sought the help of Sharan, an NGO working on drug de-addiction in the Nizamuddin Basti, New Delhi.Sharan referred the case to HAQ: Centre for Child Rights. A habeas corpus petition had to be filed to get the police to take action.By this time another three months had elapsed. In a case where perhaps every second mattered, the delays only added to her suffering. The local police had failed to even trace the mobile numbers from which she had tried to call her mother.
HAQ, along with the anti-trafficking group Shakti Vahini, met a senior police officer to get the case transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit which finally resulted in her getting rescued from the Khalpara district in Siliguri’s red light area.Even after her rescue, the police took its time over arresting the men who had kidnapped her.
The girl’s ordeal lasted more than three years, but what was even more traumatic was for her to testify in court. Even after eight appearances, she continues to have to visit court and repeat her experiences in public.Even a timely intervention by the police does not always bring about relief as was the case of a 14 year old who was trafficked from North 24 Parganas, Bengal, by her neighbour, who taking advantage of her family’s poverty, lured her to Delhi on the promise of providing her with a good job.En route, the man sold her to a woman in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, who forced her into prostitution. A fortnight later, five to six men were taking her somewhere when some policemen chanced to pass by.Scared of the police, the men ran away and the police took this crying girl to the Nirmal Chhaya shelter home where she stayed for two months during which period her family members were identified.The neighbour was arrested and released on bail within one week while this girl’s case has been pending for the last ten years.
Although her mother, who works as a daily labourer, welcomed her back, the other villagers did not want her to live there and so she was sent to a shelter home run by the NGO Jabala.Jabala took the initiative of getting her admitted to a local school. When she turned 18, this young girl told the jury members that she began working in a police canteen supervised by Jabala and has presently joined the Green Police in Kolkata.
The modus operandi to lure women into prostitution often varies.
A 16-year-old girl studying in Class 8 from North 24 Parganas became close to an individual with whom she had a phone conversation.
A series of such conversations saw him promise to marry her, and so she left her parents’ home to meet her ‘telephone friend’ in Pune, Maharashtra.When she reached Pune, he refused to marry her and sold her to a stranger who forced her into prostitution.She was rescued from a flat in Farashkhana, Pune, by two NGOs, Jabala of West Bengal and the Rescue Foundation in Maharashtra who helped ensure the trafficker was convicted.
Her family, however, did not want her back and it was only through Jabala’s initiative that she was accepted back into the fold. Jabala helped provide her with vocational training and she presently works in a police canteen run by Jabala in Kolkata.
Another survivor from Assam gave testimony about how she was preparing for her Class 10 exams when a friend of hers introduced her to a man who promised to take her to Chennai where he would ensure she got a good job and also marry her.Thus lured with the promise of marriage, she was first brought to Delhi and later taken to Fatehabad, Haryana, where she was kept in confinement for 15 days, raped by multiple men including the man who promised to amrry her, and forced into sexual slavery.
After 15 days, she was sold to another man where she was made to work through the day and sexually abused at night.The survivor informed the jury that she managed to get hold of a mobile phone and contact her parents who reported the matter to the local police in Assam.
The police sought Shakti Vahini’s help and the girl was rescued. A case was registered in Assam against the perpetrators.She was produced before the child welfare committee in Fatehabad and as per its order, was sent back to Assam where she was able to appear for her Class 10 and 12 exams. She is not able to study further because her father, a daily wager, lacks the means to educate her.
Another horrifying story is that of a 14 year old whose parents agreed to marry her to a 40-year-old man who claimed to belong to a rich Kanpur family. He paid the parents Rs 10,000 and bore the marriage expenses.When this child reached Kanpur, she received a rude shock. Not only was she made to work as a domestic help, she was forbidden to step out of the house.
After a few weeks, her husband forced her into prostitution. She was compelled to sleep with various relatives of her husband. When she resisted, she was denied food. She gave birth to two children, but the abuse continued till she fled with her children. When she left home, she was pregnant with her third child.Her parents were not happy with her decision to return to them and kept asking her to return to her husband. There was no legal intervention in this case as her family refused to register a case. The police too do not seem to feel the need to proceed with any formal complaint.

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Mother’s day celebrated

The All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) Rajkot, Gujarat celebrated International Mother’s Day on Sunday 08-05-2016 at the old age home. Picture shows all mothers Dr Bhavna Kamlesh Joshipura secretary and Incharge Oldage Home ,Kusum Thakar care taker and Manju Jariya, a mother. Manju Jariya was given the best mother’s award on this occassion.

The program was attended by a large number of activists, social workers and citizens of Rajkot; besides the inmates of the Home. Ms Joshipura appealed to the gathering for giving their love and sympathy to every elderly women as their own mother, on all days and not only on the International Mother’s Day.

Miss Joshipura is a lawyer by profession and a known social activist in Rajkot, specialising in counselling services in cases of marital discord.

-Report by Bhavna Joshipura

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