Sunday, February 28, 2010

Human Trafficking in Ragayagada Dist. of Odisha

Five children from Rayagada dist. rescued from labour agents of Bissamkatak block named madhavan in Bangalore. The girls are aged between 12 and 15 years from 3 vilages promised to provided better livelihood in Bangalore.

These minors were rescued by railway police at Bangalore. At first they were kept at a children’s home in Bangalore and were finally handed over to their parents.

That children were taken to Visakhapatnam and handed over to Gandhi. Gandhi escorted the children to Bangalore. Police have arrested Gandhi.

In October 2009, 12 girls of kolnara block were rescued from the clutches of Kerala agents and handed over to their families. Human Trafficking mainly trafficking of minors is rampant in the district.

That business is continuing by other agents till now and Odisha Government have to take more initiatives to stop human trafficking, mainly in tribal belts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Union Budget for 2010-11

Budget is known as the Annual Financial Statement. It is an estimate of the inflows and outflows of the government for a certain financial year. It lists the financial accomplishments of the previous year and enumerates the new fiscal policy to be followed during the current financial year. The Finance Minister puts down a report that contains Government of India’s revenue and expenditure for one fiscal year. The fiscal year runs from April 01 to March 31.

Indian industry today welcomed the Union Budget for 2010-11 saying it was a balanced approach though it expressed disappointment over the hike in minimum alternate tax (MAT) from 15 per cent to 18 per cent. 

Key Highlights
  • GDP Growth to be targeted at 9%
  • Target of Rs 25,000 cr disinvestment this year
  • Fertilizer Subsidy to be reduced
  • GDP to reach 10% in near future
  • To consider Parikh Report on Fuel Price
  • Rs 400 crore to be allocated for Green Revolution in Eastern India
  • Rs 300 crore for Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojna
  • Extend Loan Repayment for drohught-hit Farmers
  • Four-pronged agricultural strategy to be adopted
  • More help to Food Processing Sector
  • Farmers, who repay loan on time, will get a waiver of 2%
  • Farmers to get Loans at 5%
  • To extend farm loan repayment by 6 months
  • Agriculture Loan for Farmers increased to Rs 3,75,000 crore
  • New Food Policy from April 1, 2010
  • Rs 300 crore to be allocated for Pulse Production
  • Rs. 1.37 lakh crore for Infrastructure Development
  • Road Development allocation increased to 19,894 crore
  • More than double allocation for Power Sector to 5,130 crore
  • Farmer Fund for Women - Rs 100 crore
  • Dalits and Poor to get more focus
  • NREGA Allocation at Rs 40,100 crore
  • Rs 1200 crore package for drought-hit Bundelkhand
  • Bharat Nirman Yojna - Rs 48,000 crore
  •  Solar Energy - Rs 1,000 crore
  • Allocation for School Education increased from Rs 26,800 crore to Rs 31,036 cror
  • Allocation for Health at 22,300 crore
  • Sarva Sikha Abhiyaan - Rs 36,000 crore 
  • Rs 61,000 crore for rural Development
  • Indira Awas Yojna to get Rs 10,000 crore
  • House Loans up to Rs 10 lakh - 1% subsidy extended for one year
  • Focus on Slum Development
  • National Social Security Fund for unskilled labourers to be set up with Rs 1,000 crore
  •  National Pension Scheme - New Accounts to get Rs 1,000 per year by the government
  • National Health Insurance Scheme for NREGA Workers
  • Rural Banks to be supported
  • More Private Banks to be encouraged
  • Banks to get Rs 6,000 crore to improve fundamental structure
  • Defence Allocation - Rs 147,344 crore
  • Gross Tax Receipts - Rs 7.46 lakh crore
  • Railways to be allocated Rs 16,772 crore

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Remarks for International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first IWD was run in 1911.

The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. From a largely unknown status in ancient times through the low points of the medieval period, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful.

The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16), equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)). In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State in favor of women and children (Article 15(3)), renounces practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e)) and also allows for provisions to be made by the State for securing just and human conditions of work and for maternity relief. (Article 42).

In 1946 the United Nations established a Commission on the Status of Women. Originally as the Section on the Status of Women, Human Rights Division, Department of Social Affairs  and now part of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Since 1975 the UN has held a series of world conferences on women's issues, starting with the World Conference of the International Women's Year in Mexico City. These conferences created an international forum for women's rights and  illustrated divisions between women of different cultures and the difficulties of attempting to apply principles universally.On occasion of 2009 International Women's Day the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned that the specific health-care needs of women.

 Remarks for Women's Day

  • 1879:John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune established the Bethune School in 1849, which developed into the Bethune College in 1879, thus becoming the first women's college in India
  • 883: Chandramukhi Basu and Kadambini Ganguly became the first female graduates of India and the British Empire
  • 1886: Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi became the first women from India to be trained in Western medicine 
  • 1905: Suzanne RD Tata becomes the first Indian woman to drive a car
  • 1916: The first women's university, SNDT Women's University, was founded on June 2, 1916 by the social reformer Dhondo Keshav Karve with just five students
  • 1917: Annie Besant became the first female president of the Indian National Congress
  • 1919: For her distinguished social service, Pandita Ramabai became the first Indian woman to be awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind by the British Raj
  • 1925: Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress
  • 1927: The All India Women's Conference was founded
  • 1944: Asima Chatterjee became the first Indian woman to be conferred the Doctorate of Science by an Indian university
  • 1947: On August 15, 1947, following independence, Sarojini Naidu became the governor of the United Provinces, and in the process became India's first woman governor
  • 1951: Prem Mathur becomes the first Indian women commercial pilot of the Deccan Airways
  • 1953: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly 
  • 959: Anna Chandy becomes the first Indian woman judge of a High Court (Kerala High Court)
  • 1963:Sucheta Kriplani became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the first woman to hold that position in any Indian state
  • 1966: Captain Durga Banerjee becomes the first Indian woman pilot of the state airline, Indian Airlines
  • 1966: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay wins Ramon Magsaysay award for community leadership
  • 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first woman Prime Minister of India
  • 1970: Kamaljit Sandhu becomes the first Indian woman to win a Gold in the Asian Games
  • 1972: Kiran Bedi becomes the first female recruit to join the Indian Police Service
  • 1979: Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Indian female citizen to do so
  • 1984: On May 23, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.
  • 1989: Justice M. Fathima Beevi becomes the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India
  • 1997: Kalpana Chawla becomes the first India-born woman to go into space
  • 1992: Priya Jhingan becomes the first lady cadet to join the Indian Army (later commissioned on March 6, 1993)
    1994: Harita Kaur Deol becomes the first Indian woman pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), on a solo flight
  • 2000: Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal (bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney)
  • 2002: Lakshmi Sahgal became the first Indian woman to run for the post of President of India
  • 2004: Punita Arora became the first woman in the Indian Army to don the highest rank of Lieutenant General
  • 2007: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak became the first Indian woman to be appointed as University Professor at an Ivy League university (Columbia University)
  • 2007: Pratibha Patil becomes the first woman President of India
  • 2008: Renu Khator became the first India born woman to lead a major American university, the University of Houston
  • 2009: Meira Kumar became the first woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, the lower house in Indian Parliament

Below are some of the global United Nation themes used for International Women's Day 

- 2010: Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all
- 2009: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
- 2008: Investing in Women and Girls
- 2007: Ending Impunity for Violence against Women and Girls
- 2006: Women in decision-making
- 2005: Gender Equality Beyond 2005: Building a More Secure Future
- 2004: Women and HIV/AIDS
- 2003: Gender Equality and the Millennium Development Goals
- 2002: Afghan Women Today: Realities and Opportunities
- 2001: Women and Peace: Women Managing Conflicts
- 2000: Women Uniting for Peace
- 1999: World Free of Violence against Women
- 1998: Women and Human Rights
- 1997: Women at the Peace Table
- 1996: Celebrating the Past, Planning for the Future
- 1975: First IWD celebrated by the United Nations

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mamata Banerjee presents Railway Budget 2010

The railway budget for the next fiscal is scheduled to be presented by the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee at noon in the Lok Sabha.

With an investment of Rs 14,000 cr estimated in the Vision 2020 document for the next 10 years, the Railways will have to think out of the box in getting the funds needed to sustain the growth and the future demands.

Railway Budget gives emphasis to “social responsibility” and it's said as the ‘aam admi Railway Budget’.

Key highlights
  • Its aim to Introduce ‘janata ahaar’
  • Other suggestions regarding food being looked into 
  • To provide cheap bottled water to passengers, Six bottling plants for clean drinking water through PPP model 
  • Safety and security a priority 
  • 14 lakh employees in Indian Railways 
  • Special drive for passenger amenities and cleanliness
  • Freight rates cut for foodgrains
  • 101 hospitals to be built on Railway land  
  • E-ticket based mobile van to provide reservation at important places like hospitals, court, IT centres 
  • Introduce green toilets in at least 10 trains 
  • Special Task Force To Be Set Up To Clear Investment Proposals Within 100 Days 
  • Railway Culture Heritage Board will be et up 
  • Railways  Will Not Be Privatized  
  • 1000 News Lines Of  kilometres In One Year:
  • National Health Insurance to be extended to Railway porters
  • Women's Wing To Be Formed In RPF To Ensure Security Of Women 
  • Railways Will Provide Houses To All Its Employees In The Next 10 Years In Collaboration With Urban Development Ministry
  • 54 new trains in 2011 
  • Educational institutions will be set up on Railway land
  • Rs 1302 crore will be spent on passenger amenities 
  • English, Hindi, Urdu and local languages to be used for railway exams 
  • Examination fee to be waived for poor, minority, SC/ST and women candidates
  • Concession for madrassa students, artists and journalists
  • Ex-servicemen to be inducted in RPF 
  • More companies of women RPF personal - to be called as ‘mahila vahini’ 
  • PPP model for multi-layer parking 
  • ‘Rashtriya swasthya bima yojna’ to be extended to porters and vendors 
  • New housing scheme for railway employees 
  • Employment to one member of the land losing family 
  • Railways to be eco-friendly
  • Cheaper food, drinking water for all passengers
  • India's religious, spiritual, pilgrimage hotspots to be connected with 'Bharat Teertha' trains
  • Special benefits to help Cancer patients. Free tickets to AC3 and sleeper class, 75 percent concession for companion 
  • Bharat Tirth train to mark Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary
  • 60 creches and 20 hostels for children of women railway employees
  • Special trains for Commonwealth Games 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Indian children still deprived of basic needs

India has 375 million children, more than any other country in the world. 360 million people, about 36 per cent of the population (1999-2000 statistics) are living below the poverty line, though the government's latest estimates put this figure at 26 per cent. 

It is estimated that women and children account for 73 per cent of those below the poverty line.  More than 75 million children continue to suffer from malnutrition because of equitable distribution system and the withdrawal of the public distribution system.
The Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-79) saw  the government's focus was on child welfare through the promotion of basic minimum services for children after the launch of the Integrated Child Development Services, 1975.
As against 18.9 million in 1997, the ICDS in 1999-2000 reached approximately 26.5 million children below the age of six. Of these, nearly 12.7 million children, between the ages of three and six, participate in centre-based pre-school educational activities (Annual Report, DWCD, 1999-2000).
The Sixth Five Year Plan was the period of strengthening child welfare and development. It led to the spatial expansion and enrichment of child development services through a variety of programmes.
The focus of the Eighth Five Year Plan period (1992-97) shifted the focus to human development through advocacy, mobilisation and community empowerment.
The Government of India has declared its commitment to every child in the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002).

Category of children under special or difficult circumstances
  • Children in labour
  • Street children 
  • Destitute children in need of adoption
  • Drug addicts
  • Children in prostitution
  • Children of prisoners
  • Refugee children
  • Slum and migrant children
  • Children who are neglected or treated as juvenile offenders
  • Children who are physically or mentally challenged

Children faces problems
  • From every 1,000 children born in a year, 48 die within 28 days of birth. The incidence is much higher in the rural areas: 52 child deaths at birth
  • There are not enough beds to accommodate the 25 million annual births
  • One in 13 infants dies before reaching the age of one year
  • One in nine children die before reaching the age of five. This figure corresponds to official figures for 1961
  • Approximately 70 per cent of infant deaths occur in the first week of life
  • Acute Lower Respiratory Infection (ALRI) continues to claim15-20 per cent of infant deaths, especially in the first three or four months of life
  • 380,000 deaths occur each year due to Vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiencies. And 210,000 children are born cretins, or turn blind at pre-school age
  • Every year 7 to 8 lakh (700,000-800,000) children die from a preventable disease, like diarrhoea
  • In a country that has buffer stocks of food grains, nearly 75 million children below the age of 5 years are malnourished
  • 45 per cent of children below three are severely and chronically malnourished
  • Only 44 per cent of children have completed the immunisation schedule. A massive 14 per cent have not received a single vaccine

Several  achievements have been made
  • Infant mortality rates have decreased from 134 in 1946-50 to 72 in 1997
  • Under-five mortality rates declined from 177 in 1980 to 100 in 1993
  • Every girl-child born today can expect to live up to the age of 58 years, as against 41 years in 1951-   60
  • Every boy-child can live to 58 years, as against 42 years in 1951-60
  • More deliveries take place in health facilities (33 per cent in 1992-93, compared to 25 per cent five  years ago)
  • More children receive the essential vaccines protecting them from tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles and polio (42 per cent, up from 36 per cent). The Universal Immunisation Programme aims at immunising all 25 million children born in the country each year against the six vaccine-preventable diseases.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Odisha tribals suffer Human Rights Violence by Vedanta

The Amnesty International’s (AI) recent report on the London-based Vedanta  group’s aluminium refinery and bauxite mining project at Lanjigarh in Odisha's Kalahandi district has once again prompted the local tribals. 
The Dongria Kondhs, who have inhabited the Niyamgiri Hills for centuries consider the environmentally sensitive Hills to be their “Living God” and are up in arms against the mining project and tell “We may die but we will not allow the destruction of our Niyamgiri Hills.”
Vedanta Aluminium Ltd’s alumina refinery has led to water and air pollution, seriously undermining the quality of life and threatening the health of nearby communities.
The 8,000 strong community, mainly ‘adivasis’ (tribals) in Odisha’s Lanjigarh suffered violations of human rights to water and health, due to pollution by Vedanta’s aluminium refinery.
The refinery project has already led to health problems like skin and respiratory diseases among the locals and these health hazards are expected to multiply once the bauxite mining begins in the hills, the tribals fear.
Around  4,000 people living near the refinery are facing serious health problems because “they are breathing polluted air and drinking water from a contaminated river, the Vamsadhara, that is one of their primary sources of water.”
The environmental pollution caused by the refinery’s fly ash and red mud ponds was reported by Business Standard .

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Women Empowerment for Its All Round Development

Empowerment should be preparation for fulfilling one's role in the best way. It is historically proven that it takes an 'empowered' woman to build an healthy family and only a healthy family build a prosperous society. 
The Community Development Programme (CD) was introduced as a massive programme of comprehensive rural development both for men, women and children with community participation. But the community was giving importance only to male and women were only included as participants in Mahila Mandals. 

The  village level extension workers (VLWs), the Gram Sevaks were provided for grass level  extension work, these were 10 male VLWs and two female workers (LVLWs), which was the basic unit of CD programme. That’s why Women participation in community work work was very low.
The First Five year Plan saw women in social welfare and spoke of their low levels of literacy and need of some welfare centres. Thus the First Five Year Plan have gave importance to girls education and maternal health care.
Besides developing planning, the state embarked upon legislation in social matters as Hindu Marriage Act, Hindu Adoption Act, The Restraint of Child Marriage Act, Prohibition of Dowry Act, Maternity Benefit Act, Equal Remuneration Act etc.
 ‘Self help group’ (SHG) has been recognized as a community based organization that enables members to maximize the utilization of their internal as well as external resources in a sustainable manner. It has been adopted as the primary component in development strategies and most development programmes have made the self-help group the central unit of community mobilization. 
SHG’s encourages activities that directly improve the living standards of poor and women, SHG encourages active decision making by members with in thrift and credit frame work. This will result in their greater involvement within the family, socially as well as politically.

In the matter of school education, enrollment ratio shows 87.8 million girls against 98.2 million boys in elementary classes.
Now female literacy grew by 3% higher than male literacy and illiterate women were 190 million in 2001 against 200.7 million in 1991. Mean age of marriage increased from 15.5% in 1961 to 19.5% in 1997 but 44.5% of women were still married off by the age of 18 years.
The 11th Plan expresses the raising  sex ratio for 0-6 years age from 927 in 2001 to 935 by 2011-12 and 950 by 2016-17 and it can only possible by the proper utilization of government schemes.
The reservation of women in panchayat level and municipalities have given decision making facility to at least  1 million women .  The reservation in political institutions have provided better facility to them in employment sector.