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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Gurgaon: Schemes, subsidies to be linked to UID

Authorities in Gurgaon district are planning to link all facilities with the Unique Identification (UID) number in six months time and have asked the people who have not yet got the Aadhaar card to enrol themselves for it.

Presiding over a meeting, Deputy Commissioner T L Satyaprakash said that the Union government has linked Aadhaar with domestic gas subsidy in some states and in next phase, Gurgaon might be included.

He said that it is high time, one must ensure that all the family members have enrolled for UID.

Old age honour allowance, unemployment allowance, widow pension, physically challenged pension, scholarships, free medicines from government hospitals, salary of all contractual employees will be linked with UID, he said.

Satyaprakash said the administration will launch a drive for enrolment of persons who have been left out and wherever 50 or more persons are available for enrolment, we will send UID enrolment kit to their place itself.

The authorities can be contacted on 0124- 2320305 in this regard, he said.

He appealed to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and other civil societies to cooperate and inform administration about pockets where a large number of people are yet to get UIDs.

Five permanent UID enrolment centres are functional in Gurgaon besides mobile ones.

These are located at mini secretariat, Gurgaon, opposite tehsil office in Sohna, BDPO office in Farrukh Nagar, market committee office near railway station in Pataudi and tehsil office, Manesar.

About 73 per cent of the population in Gurgaon district have been enrolled for UID and the rest of the population is to be covered by June 2015.

Out of the total estimated pendency of 4.15 lakh population, majority are from urban areas.

Source : Business Standard , 26th Nov 2014

Compensation sought from CPM - Thiruvanthapuram

A Kannur based physically challenged senior citizen has approached Human Rights Commission demanding Rs 40,000 compensation from CPM for imposing a two year ‘ooruvilakku’ (ostracisation) on his family following a land dispute.

The commission has asked the Kannur district police chief and collector to submit a report on the incident after local police allegedly failed to act against the issue.

The commission has asked the Kannur district police chief and collector to submit a report on the incident after local police allegedly failed to act against the issue.

The petitioner, Narayanan, 60 of Kilaloor of Peralassery, Kannur has approached the commission after the CPM party cadres attempted to disrupt the marriage of his daughter who is a bus conductor.

The commission has asked the Kannur district police chief and collector to submit a report on the incident after local police allegedly failed to act against the issue.

Six days before the wedding of Narayan’s daughter MK Jaseena, on September 6, the cadres blocked way to his house using boulders and wooden log.

Though Chakkarakkal police came and removed the barriers, after two days several truck loads of slush was unloaded before the house using tipper lorry.

Though he approached the CPM leaders with pleas, they asked him to first withdraw an earlier police complaint against some party workers.

Before few months, a complaint for pouring kerosene into the well which was the only drinking water source of the family. Apart from this all kinds of labourers were banned from working in the farm of Narayanam.

Source :  Deccan Chronicle , 28th Nov 2014

ICT can help government empower PwDs & lead to inclusion: Thaawar Chand Gehlot

Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment, at the UNESCO's International Conference said, "Government is focusing on a seven point agenda relating to the disability sector."

Gehlot further said, it includes enactment of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill to fulfil our international obligation post ratification of the UNCRPD; using technology to deliver low-cost, home-based education through e-learning; issue of Universal ID to each and every person with disability for availing government benefits; developing income generations models to ensure economic independence; ensuring access to public facilities, public buildings and transport; aid and support to voluntary organizations; and tax relief to the family members taking care of persons with disabilities.

"India was among the first countries to ratify the UNCRPD. The National Policy for Persons with Disabilities of 2006 recognizes that Persons with Disabilities are a valuable resource for the country, and seeks to create an environment that provides them every opportunity to participate fully in society."

''According to the Census of India 2011, there are 2.68 crore persons with disabilities in the country, which constitutes 2.2% of our population. In order to create an inclusive society, the Government, development partners, civil society and disability sector experts are working together to ensure protection of the rights of Persons with Disabilities through a range of early intervention services, protection of rights, provision of aids and assistive devices and promoting accessibility in public buildings. Inclusion means providing equal opportunities in education, skill development, economic empowerment and ensuring full participation of Persons with Disabilities in family, cultural and social life; in administrative and political spheres. It is our collective duty to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are empowered to lead a safe and dignified life as citizens of India.''

"Day by day, new trends in science and technology have enabled ICT applications to meet the various needs of persons with disabilities. The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India has announced a nationwide campaign for a "Digital India" which would bring ICTs to the doorstep of every Indian citizen. The Prime Minister has emphasized the critical role ICTs play in good governance and in enhancing inclusive growth and development. This is an important opportunity to work towards integrating ICTs with a wide range of other offline systems and services."

"This high-level International Conference on the role of ICTs for persons with disabilities should contribute to meeting our vision of inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in India and worldwide and should benefit from a range of ICT -based applications. I hope that this Conference will give a new impetus to the partnerships and technological innovation efforts to improve the status of persons with disabilities and also combating poverty in developing countries. We trust this Conference will provide a road-map for a more inclusive society, which prevents discrimination and encourages participation of Persons with Disabilities in all spheres of life. I also hope that this conference also explores how best ICT could be used for the economic empowerment of PwDs," Gehlot added.

Source : My Iris , 24th Nov 2014

JBM bets big on bus foray

The component supplier has manufactured ‘CityLife’, in an Italian collaboration, and it is aimed at intracity travel

 Nishant Arya is bullish on his company’s entry into buses, a move that is expected to gather momentum in the coming years.

The Executive Director of JBM group, the 7,000 crore plus auto component supplier to almost every vehicle maker in India, believes buses will be the next big leap forward for his company.

Citylife, which was displayed at this year’s Delhi Auto Expo, has been jointly manufactured with BredaMenarinibus of Italy. JBM will ready these vehicles at its two plants in Faridabad and Kosi with an annual capacity of 2,000 units.

Good start

While around 100 orders have already come in from schools and airports, the real big break will happen with orders from state transport undertakings.

Arya says this is already on the anvil which means a formal announcement could be expected in the coming months.

With its huge competencies in sheets, panels, exhaust systems, fuel tanks etc, JBM will have a cost-effective structure in place for its buses. This perhaps explains why Citylife will be 10 per cent more affordable than competing models in the low-floor space.

“Citylife will be available in premium and standard categories with CNG and diesel options. It has been earmarked for intracity travel. These are low-floor buses in the true sense. The structure is more robust and assures longer life with better cost of ownership,” Arya says.

In addition, Citylife offers better headroom for passengers as the entire floor is at one level without a gradient. It is also helpful for the physically challenged, Arya adds.

“Comfort was one of the guiding factors in making this vehicle a reality. Likewise, there is tremendous visibility and driver comfort which reduces fatigue,” he says. The JBM R&D centre for this project has over 350 people working across Italy, Germany and the UK.

Big picture

Arya is keen on exporting the bus in due course of time once the India business plan gets going. There are also interesting possibilities for BRTS operations both here and parts of the world where bus transit is emerging a practical mobility solution.

Of the group’s spend of 700 crore this fiscal, 500 crore is on the bus project and the balance on plants in Indore and Bengaluru which will cater to customers like VE Commercial Vehicles and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India.

Arya says JBM will be ready with a new five-year vision plan next year.

The bus business is expected to be an integral part of this roadmap as road connectivity is expected to improve dramatically during the course of this decade.

Source : Business Line , 27th Nov 2014

Punjab to set up affordable housing development authority

Aiming to provide "affordable housing for all" in next two years, the Punjab Government today decided to set up Punjab State Affordable Housing Development Authority headed by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The decision was taken by the Cabinet in a meeting headed by Badal here on Wednesday, an official spokesman said.

With an aim to provide housing to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS), Lower Income Group (LIG) and other vulnerable sections of society, the authority would construct one lakh dwelling units in the state in next two years.

"The vulnerable sections of society would include scheduled castes, backward classes, minorities, senior citizens and physically challenged persons in the state to ensure that no individual was left shelter less," he said.

The authority would also have Deputy Chief Minister or Housing and Urban Development minister, Local Government minister, Finance minister, Labour and Employment minister, Rural Development minister and Chief Secretary as its members while Secretary Housing and Urban Development as its Member Secretary.

The Cabinet also approved the establishment of three new Forensic Science Laboratories (FSLs) at Bathinda, Ludhiana and Jalandhar along with the creation of 33 posts of group A, B, C and D categories.

"This would reduce the time taken for testing of NDPS samples and also curtail the pendency of testing NDPS samples and help in intensifying the ongoing efforts to curb the drug menace in the state, the spokesman said.

With this decision there would be now four laboratories in the state as one of them was already functioning at SAS Nagar (Mohali).

The Cabinet also approved the proposal to entrust the work of selection of 118 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division) -cum-Judicial Magistrate to the Punjab and Haryana High Court Committee after taking these posts out of the purview of the Punjab Public Service Commission.

Also, the government approved to slash the rate of VAT from existing 13 per cent plus 10 per cent surcharge to 5.5 per cent plus 10 per cent surcharge as a major relief to the trade of heavy machinery including cranes and earth moving equipments in the state.

Source : Zee News , 26th Nov 2014

Passport mela to be held in Chennai

The regional passport office in Chennai will conduct a passport mela on Saturday (November 29).

The mela is being held exclusively for senior citizens above 60 years, physically challenged people and students to facilitate submission of applications.

Passport seva kendras (PSKs) at Saligramam, Tambaram and Aminjikarai will accept applications from people in these three categories for which they have to apply online and get appointment.

People have to log on to to register online and generate appointment.

Applicants should produce the printout of the appointment slip, one set of self-attested photographs and other requisite documents.

PSKs will only accept applications under normal category, and not under tatkal and PCC (police clearance certificate) categories.

Source : TOI , 27th Nov 2014

WOW! Salman Khan Remembers A Disabled Fan Even After 2 Decades

Actor Salman Khan undoubtedly has one of the highest fan following among the Bollywood stars and rightly so. Apart from he being a Bollywood superstar, it looks like there is another reason for Salman Khan being loved by all his fans so much. It has been reported that Kick actor Salman Khan once met a fan named Paras Mehta and even after 21 years of the meeting, Salman still remembers the fan by his name.

WOW! Salman Remembers A Disabled Fan Even After 2 Decades

Salman Khan's friend Chhaya Momaya was quoted saying, "Paras Mehta who comes from a prominent jewellery family in Malabar hill has always been a major Salman devotee. The late film distributor Dinesh Gandhi and a close family friend of Mehtas told Salman about him. When Salman got to know about it, he went all the way to Malabar Hill to meet his fan.

This was over two decades ago." Apparently, Chhaya had no clue about Salman having met with someone named Paras Mehta. Now, the same fan wished to meet Salman once again and when Chhaya told the actor that someone from Malabar Hill wants to meet him, the lady was in for a surprise.

"I was taken aback when Salman's response was 'Are you talking about Paras?' In fact, Salman mentioned that four days ago, he had thought about Paras and was wondering what happened to him. How amazing it is that he remembered a fan he had met 21 years ago, given that he meets hundreds every day," said Chhaya. It is to be mentioned, Paras Mehta who is 42 years old happens to be mentally and physically challenged. Well, Salman certainly has a sharp memory, at least as far as remembering his fans is concerned.

Source : Film Beat , 27th Nov 2014

MGU Formulates Scheme for Ailing and Disabled Students - Kottyam

The Mahatma Gandhi University has come up with a new scheme to support the critically ailing and the disabled students with treatment aids and annual scholarships, according to reports on Wednesday.

Claimed as the first in the history of any university in the country, the scheme is expected to benefit as many as 3.5 lakh students, whose annual family incomes are capped below `2.5 lakh.

Based on the scheme, a maximum of `25,000 will be given as medical assistance for those undergoing treatments for tumour, cancer, kidney failure, and heart problems and the like. The allowance, however, will not be entertained over the successive years. Beneficiaries of other schemes are  eligible to apply for the medical aid.Cultural scholarships, specially sanctioned by the vice chancellor, will be allotted to university youth festival winners, who would be continuing their studies, subject to the income ceiling.

The schemes were proposed by the managing committee comprising pro-vice chancellor Dr Sheena Shukkoor, syndicate members Prof K V Narayana Kurup, Prof C H Abdul Latif, P K Firoz, registrar M R Unni and director of students services, Dr Hari Changampuzha. Under the scheme for the disabled, `5,000 will be given to 20 students who are physically challenged, meritorious students, and are also pursuing for degree and post-graduate courses. Preference will be given to fresh applicants.

The amount for the annual cultural scholarship for the university youth festival winners have been fixed at `5,000.

Source : The New Indian Express , 27th Nov 2014

Success Against All Odds - Hyderabad

While many hold the notion that visually impaired employees cost more and produce less, NM Swathi proved it wrong. Challenging these perceptions, she became one of the best employees at State Bank of India, Ameerpet Branch.

Working at the help desk of the branch, Swathi’s job at the bank involved answering customer queries.  Infact, not many are aware that the Swathi was recently felicitated with the AOF Young Achievers Award 2013 by Amway Opportunity Foundation.

“When I started working in 2009, for the first six to seven months, it was a bumpy road for me as I hardly knew anything about the bank. Sometimes the customers used to abuse me as they were not satisfied with the solutions I provided them. I often had to face questions regarding my disability. Instead of focussing on the job they came to do at the bank, they would ask me if my disability was by birth or it happened due to some accident. Other than that they would also want to know if I get paid like other employees or am I doing voluntary service there. At times I would feel very uncomfortable,” says Swathi, but her colleagues always remained to be her strength. “They would come to help me get rid of the customer and would support me when I would breakdown,” adds the post graduate in Public and Personnel Management.

Asked why she did not fight back herself, Swathi says, “The person could turn into a potential customer. In case I spoke to them rudely, we could have lost the client.” Her efforst did pay off eventually as she picked up her work quickly becoming the most trusted person at the help desk. “The customers who visited the branch often and knew me well, would only come to me with their queries. That encouraged me,” she beams. “When I was getting transferred, my Branch Manager did not want to relieve me. Although she wanted to be a reporter, the support and the encouragement that the bank provided her made her change her plans. She has now decided to be in a banking professional. “It was by accident that I got into banking. Though I wanted to become a reporter, I just kept applying for various competitive exams. After I got through, I decided to take it up.”

Working as a trainee officer at present, her work now involves working on a computer which is not that difficult as Swathi practised using computer during her schooling. “The advancement in technology has made life easier as it has brought in lot of softwares which we can use to work without any hassles. I studied using one of the softwares which dictates the notes for me. Apart from that, my parents also helped me study.”

After working at the Ameerpet Branch for five years, she has now been transferred to Ramanathapuram branch and is working as a trainee officer there. “I am a straight forward person and I like taking challenges.”

Though being employed in the physically challenged category, Swathi is quite confident that she would have had a successful career even without the reservation. She hopes the society will accept visually impaired people as normal individuals one day.

Source : The New Indian Express , 27th Nov 2014 

Government committed to implementing welfare schemes: Eatala - Telangana

Telangana Finance Minister Eatala Rajender said their government’s commitment and resolve are enough to mobilise funds and implement the promised welfare schemes. “We strongly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way”,

In his reply to the debate on welfare departments’ demands in the Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Rajender said the remarks of Opposition parties had hurt him as they came at the very beginning of their sincere attempt towards fulfilling promises. “You can question us if we don’t do anything after giving us sometime,” the Minister said, adding that they would have fear of losing power only when they distance away from people’s welfare and fail to keep the given word.

Explaining the beginning made by the government in the implementation of welfare schemes for SCs, STs, BCs, physically challenged, minorities and women, the Minister said the allocations made in the past were nowhere near the provisions made by them.

Earlier, MLAs Sunnam Rajaiah (CPI-M), Payam Venkateswarlu (YSR Congress), T. Jeevan Reddy and S.A. Sampath Kumar (Congress), Akbaruddin Owaisi (MIM), K. Laxman (BJP), S. Venkata Veeriah and R. Krishnaiah (TDP) and R. Balkishen and V. Srinivas Goud (TRS) raised several issues seeking clarifications and made suggestions on the implementation of welfare schemes.

Source : The Hindu , 25th Nov 2014

Haryana govt lowers employees' retirement age from 60 to 58

The BJP government in Haryana today decided to lower the retirement age of state government employees from 60 to 58 years and hike VAT on diesel from the present 9.24 per cent to 12.07 per cent.

The decision to lower the retirement age will be implemented immediately, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told reporters after a Cabinet meeting here this evening. All employees who attain the age of 58 on November 30, 2014 will retire from service.

The Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda had increased the retirement age of the employees by two years to 60, shortly before the October 15 Assembly polls.

Khattar, however, said the retirement age of physically challenged, blind and Class IV employees will remain 60 years as decided by the previous government. The maximum age for entry into government jobs will also remain at 42, he added.

The Cabinet also decided to increase VAT on diesel from the present 9.24 per cent to 12.07 per cent, with the Chief Minister saying the exchequer would earn an additional Rs 750 crore annually following the move.

Among other decisions, the state Cabinet decided to scrap the Haryana Staff Selection Commission and the State Teachers' Selection Board. Khattar said the Haryana Staff Selection Commission would be scrapped resulting in removal of its Chairman and members.

Source : Business Standard , 25th Nov 2014

Education is the Key to Empowerment' : Visakhapatnam

Only better education and awareness can truly empower people by helping them know and understand their rights and use the benefits of the welfare schemes being implemented by the governments in the state and the centre, said Panchayat Raj minister Ch Ayyanna Patrudu. He urged the people in rural areas to come forward and obtain the benefits under various government schemes.

Ayyanna Patrudu was addressing the valedictory function of the three-day Public Information Campaign (PIC) conducted by the Press Information Bureau and other media units of Information and Broadcasting Ministry along with the Visakapatnam district administration at Narsipatnam in the district. As the chief guest of the function, he lauded the efforts of organisers in dissemination of information in the rural areas.

At the event, the Department of Rural Water Sanitation stood first as the best stall while ICDS, DRDA, HPCL and DWAMA departments bagged best stalls award respectively. The Best Services stall award was bagged by the Aadhaar Card stall. The minister and the MLAs presented mementoes to the participants at the valedictory function. Prizes and certificates also were distributed to the winners of various competitions and best students, and NCC and NSS cadets who participated in the rally on the opening day.

The cultural programmes presented by students of various schools attracted the crowds, while the performance by physically challenged students received a rousing applause from the visitors. A job mela was also organised on the occasion where nine companies participated and offered jobs to 571 aspirants.

Source : The New Indian Express , 25th Nov 2014

Felicitation to Indian Blind Cricket Team to South Africa by Union Ministers Shri Ananth Kumar & Shri Sarbanand Sonowal

Chemicals and Fertilizers Minister Shri Ananth Kumar and Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Shri Sarbanand Sonowal gave a warm and emotional send off to India's twenty-strong Blind Cricket Team which is going to Cape Town, South Africa for the ODI World Blind Event which is taking place from November 24 to December 09, 2014. The Indian Team is sponsored by The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), the Sporting wing of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.

Shri Ananth Kumar, a strong votary of Blind Cricket and also welfare of the disabled, hosted a breakfast at his residence to honour the Indian Blind Cricket Players headed by Captain Mr. Shekhar Naik, a veteran of Blind Cricket himself, who has won numerous trophies in his blind cricket career. While bidding farewell to the Blind Cricket Team both Union Ministers expressed their hope that the team will hold the Indian tricolor high by winning the ODI Trophy at Cape Town, a trophy they won in 2012 also.

To motivate the players to put in their best in the ODI and bring the Trophy to India, Shri Ananth Kumar promised the players that he would ensure that they would meet the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on their triumphant return; Shri Sonowal whole heartedly supported it.

Apart from the two Union Ministers the presence of a number of supporters at the breakfast press meet underlined the importance attached to disabled sports - senior officials from both Sports and Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministries were present. The Director General of Sports Authority of India and Joint Secretary Sports where among the important officials present.

President of CABI Mr. S P Nagesh, who is himself a Blind Cricketer and outstanding Athlete welcomed the Union Ministers and other distinguished guests. He requested the Government through the Ministers to help CABI in its quest for wider recognition of Blind Cricket in India, especially its long pending demand for Affiliation to BCCI for a level playing opportunity for the handicapped sports in the Country.

Mr Nagesh made a spirited appeal to the Union Ministers to provide adequate financial support to the Blind Cricket Team trip to South Africa. He pointed out that the grant of Rs 10 lakhs provided by the ministry was inadequate to cover the expenses of South Africa Trip and requested that the same be increased Rs 25 lakhs, in response to which the Sports Minister committed to increase the grant to Rs. 25 lakhs.

The Indian Blind Cricket Team bound for South Africa comprising twenty players from almost all states from India arrived in the capital on 22nd November and their stay and other requirements were looked after by the PCCAI (Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India) at Bhiwani, Haryana.

The Ministers honoured the captain and other members of the team by garlanding them and offering a shawl to each member. 

Source : Business Standard , 24th Nov 2014

50 years-old rapist gets life imprisonment - Mangaluru

Dakshina Kannada Principal District and Sessions Court on Monday punished a 50 years-old rape convict, who raped a minor and physically challenged girl, with life imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 50,000.

MG Uma, judge of special court for the trial of cases under POCSO Act, had convicted Sundara on November 21. The judge punished Sundara, a resident of Kelinjar in Kuppepadavu in Mangalore taluk, who was held guilty for raping the girl of same village five times. Sundara had raped the girl at her house on June 11, 12 and 13 and later, in his house on July 10 and 11 in 2013. Bajpe police had registered the case based on a complaint filed by Childline Mangalore on August 23, 2013 and later Sundara was arrested the next day.

The special court for the trial of cases under POCSO Act awarded life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50,000 under Section 6 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. Meanwhile, the convict also has been punished for one year of rigorous imprisonment and Rs 1,000 fine; and five years of rigorous imprisonment with Rs 5,000 fine under IPC Sections 448 (trespass), 366A (procuration of minor girl) respectively. The convict has to pay Rs 56,000 as penalty, wherein Rs 50,000 will be paid as compensation to the victim. If Sundara fails to pay the penalty, then he will have to undergo one more year of simple imprisonment, special public prosecutor Pushparaj Adyanthaya told TOI.

Source : TOI , 24th Nov 2014

Disability no handicap for this Jaisalmer boy

A youth from Jaisalmer, that has been very backward in education, has not only glorified the name of the district, but also of his family by topping the Rajasthan Judicial Service (RJS) exam. Bhaniyana village resident Madan Singh Choudhary, who is physically challenged, has topped the RJS in the entire state. Choudhary's father Mangilal Choudhary is deployed as station officer at Gida police station in Barmer. Madan has secured 222 marks out of 335.

Speaking to TOI over the phone, he said he completed his higher secondary at Bhaniyana village and later pursued law at national law university in Gujarat. He said many parents due to money problem, are unable to give higher education to their children, which is very painful. He further added there was an atmosphere of happiness at his native village and people were congratulating him on his success.

On the other hand, Jaisalmer is also notorious for female foeticide, but now girls are bringing glory to the district. After Geetika Bhatia in CA, Hardika Bhatia in CS and now Swati Vyas has achieved first rank in RJS 2013 in the entire Rajasthan in general female category.

Apart from Swati, three more people from the district passed the RJS 2013 exam.

Swati's father Ashok Vyas is currently district judge at the Motor Accident Claims Tribunals (MACT) court in Jaipur and Swati's brother and sister-in-law are working as junior civil judge at Sawai Madhopur. Swati's education has been at different places due her father's transferable job, but she did her five-year law course from Rajasthan University in Jaipur. Swati is the youngest candidate to clear RJS 2013. She scored 222 marks.

Source : TOI , 24th Nov 2014

Fearing Police Step, Ponzi Firm Refunds Depositor’s Money - Behrampur

The CBI crackdown on big chit fund companies seems to have its impact on the small firms in the business. Fearing action, a Berhampur-based private financing firm, Sunlight Future Bright Marketing Private Limited, has returned money to one of its depositors a few days back.

The depositor Dhiren Sahu, a physically challenged youth, had invested Rs 1.2 lakh in the chit fund firm hoping to earn handsome returns before his sister’s marriage. The firm had promised to double the amount within two years.

Sahu deposited the money in January, 2012 and the firm had promised to pay Rs 2.4 lakh to him on maturity.

As his sister’s marriage was fixed in February this year, he approached the firm to collect the promised return. But the firm officials did not pay him the amount.

After his sister’s marriage, Sahu approached the firm again but was returned without payment. A lawyer RH Pattanaik, who came to know about Sahu’s plight, submitted a grievance to Economic Offence Wing, Bhubaneswar, which sent a letter to Berhampur SP asking him to look into the matter. As this too yielded no result, Sahu last month lodged a written complaint with Badabazaar police. Here also, no action came forth.
The local police, however, informed Sahu that the firm owner was absconding. Meanwhile, the firm owner, Sunil Kumar Patra, shifted his office from Sriramnagar to Housing Board.
However, after the news appeared in this paper, Patra contacted Sahu and paid him the matured amount of Rs 2.4 lakh.

Though Sahu was lucky to get back his money, it remains to be seen if the firm refunds the money of its other depositors.

Source : The New Indian Express , 24th Nov 2014

Ready for a Challenge Even Without Basic Facilities - Bangaluru

The Karnataka physically challenged cricket team is back in action this December, with a much-awaited series.

The team will also conduct open trials at Dharwad, where anybody can go and test their chances

KSPCCA (Karnataka State Physically Challenged Cricket Association) is going to host a bilateral cricket tournament, starting from December 11 to 14 at Dharwad SDM College ground, where the Karnataka physically challenged cricket team will play against the Himachal Pradesh physically challenged cricket team.

"The Himachal Pradesh team has already hosted us twice in their state. We figured it was time to extend the invitation for them to come here as well," says Vijaykant Tiwari, captain of the Karnataka physically challenged cricket team. The series will feature 3 ODI matches and one T20 match.

The team will also conduct open trials at Dharwad on December 10, where anybody who wants to play with the team can go and test their chances. The team will also participate in the south zone tournament taking place at Vizag between December 4 and 7.

"This will give us adequate practice for the Dharwad series. Himachal Pradesh is quite a strong team, with one of the cricketers being a national level player as well. Winning this series is very important to us," says Vijaykant.

However, the team is yet to receive even the most basic facilities.

"Our players are spread across Karnataka. When they come to Bengaluru or other places to play matches, their salaries get cut at their respective offices. We still don't have a proper ground where we can train and we definitely need a better coach. Even our kits have been bought by us," says Vijaykant.

He adds that other teams across the country like Rajasthan and Maharashtra are taken care of by their respective State governments and cricket boards. But the same cannot be said about Karnataka.

"It's not like we are asking for five star facilities. We just need a place to train, basic facilities and benefits that every state level athlete receives," he says.

However, for the Dharwad series specifically, a number of brands have come forward to help.

"We have brands like State Bank of India, Pepsi, Titan, Edu Talk, Roseline and more pooling in resources for the series. I think brands are slowly realising that they need to look beyond just their immediate returns on investment. It is time they gave back," says Amardeep Kaushal, a KSPCCA member.

The team hopes to host a four or six team series in Bengaluru mid-2015.

"We want to make Bengaluru the centre of physically challenged cricket in India. Next year, we hope to host as many state teams as possible," says Vijay. The team will also play in Goa later in December.

Source : The New Indian Express , 24th Nov 2014

55 year old gets 5 years rigorous imprisonment under POCSO Act - Chennai

A 10-year-old mentally challenged girl was having lunch in her hut near Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, Guindy, at 4 pm on May 20, 2013.

A 10-year-old mentally challenged girl was having lunch in her hut near Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, Guindy, at 4 pm on May 20, 2013. Picture for representational purpose.

A 10-year-old mentally challenged girl was having lunch in her hut near Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology, Guindy, at 4 pm on May 20, 2013.

A 55-year-old man, working as a chef in a canteen, gained entry into the hut and attempted to misbehave with the girl, who was studying class 6. Covering her mouth with his hand, C. Karuppiah, the accused, forcefully laid himself on her. Unable to withstand the pain and agony, she raised alarm and screamed for help. Barely a year-and-a-half later, Karuppiah has been convicted to five years of rigorous imprisonment and told to pay a fine of Rs 7,000.

Based on the complaint of the girl’s father, the police registered a case against Karuppiah under section 354 (assault/criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of IPC and sections 7 and 8 (whoever commits sexual assault against child, shall be punished with imprisonment of either for a term not less than three years to five years and shall be liable to fine) of Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (POCSO Act). He was arrested and detained in prison.

The father of the victim, a mason, left his two daughters and a son with a relative in his native village. As the victim has been mentally affected, her parents kept along with them in the hut. They had been residing in the place for nearly two decades.

The case was transferred to mahila court from IX metropolitan magistrate court, Saidapet. As many as 15 persons deposed before the mahila court which perused over nine documents.

Deposing before the court, witness Sankar submitted that he was sitting under a tree near the house along with the victim’s father. As they were thirsty, they went towards the house and found Karuppiah emerge from the hut. Hearing the girl scream, a local rushed and caught Karuppiah.

Sessions judge Meena Sathish said the prosecution proved the case beyond doubt. Hence, the court sentenced the accused to one year for committing offence under section 354 IPC and five years RI under sections 7 and 8 of POCSO Act.

Special public prosecutor Gowri Asokan said for the first time in Chennai, the court had convicted a person under POCSO Act.

She said the Act prescribes stringent punishment graded as per the gravity of the offence - with a maximum term of RI for life, and fine.

In this, case, the victim, a mentally retarded minor girl, appeared before the court and identified the accused by pointing her finger at him.

Source : Deccan Chronicle , 28th Nov 2014

‘Deaf-blindness should be recognized in disability policy’ : Goa

At a meeting on deaf-blindness on Tuesday, participants recommended that deaf-blindess should be recognized under the state disability policy. They called upon authorities to take up necessary measures to improve the quality of life of this section of the society.

At the end of the day-long advocacy meeting, it was resolved that as there is a sizable population of deaf-blind individuals in the community, they should be identified through census surveys.

The need for public awareness about the medical board of Goa with respect to multiple disability certifications, reservation for the deaf-blind in labour, were other issues raised. Appeals were also made to provide appropriate need-based aids and appliances to social welfare departments working with the deaf-blind and for smoother access to government grants to initiate need-based services.

The meeting was held by Caritas-Goa in association with Sense International India and UK Aid, to create awareness among the government, service providers and organizations about deaf-blindess. With the help of this meeting which is held annually, Caritas Goa raised issues of accessibility and the provision of multiple disability certificates to the deaf-blind. Project coordinator Reflino Fernandes said, "With the help of the state advocacy meeting this year, we raised the issue of providing multiple disability certificates for the deaf-blind and accessibility for their mobility in government buildings and low floor buses."

Sharing his thoughts on the programme, Caritas Goa director Fr Maverick said, "We believe in creating opportunities for individuals who are on the fringes of society. It enables them to explore avenues which they would otherwise not have considered. So, it is our responsibility to provide this opportunity to them." Earlier, inaugurating the meeting, deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza called for awareness among parents about deaf-blindness and systematic efforts to help create self confidence among differently-abled children.

Stating that the government has implemented various schemes for this section of society, D'Souza said the process of certification needs to be simplified in order for children with deafblindness to be able to avail of the benefits of schemes.

Source : TOI , 29th Nov 2014

67-yerar-old from Belagavi wins silver at National Masters’ Aquatic championship

Sixty seven year old master swimmer from the city, Laxman Kumbhar won silver and a bronze medal at ‘11th National Masters’ Aquatic Championship’. He represented Karnataka in the championship event held at Kalaburgi from November 21 to 23. The Championship was organised by Karnataka Swimming Association under the ages of Swimming Federation of India.

67-year-old Laxman Kumbhar won silver and a bronze medal at ‘11th National Masters’ Aquatic Championship’.67-year-old Laxman Kumbhar won silver and a bronze medal at ‘11th National Masters’ Aquatic Championship’

He won the silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly and bronze in the 4 X 50 meter medley relay in the age group 65 to 69 years. More than 1,000 master swimmers from across the country participated in these competitions.

Mr. Kumbhar is a retired Railway Mail Service officer and has been participating in swimming competitions for the past 35 years. So far, he has bagged around 200 state and national medals. He continues his practice under the guidance of swimming coaches Umesh Kalghatgi and Sudhir Kusane.

Overcoming disabilities: Umesh Khade a young swimmer from the city won bronze medal at the ‘All India Open Sea Swimming Competition 2014’ held at Mumbai. He is deaf and dumb, but committed to swimming and scale high as a swimmer.

The competitions were organised by the Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, Western Naval Command, Mumbai on the occasion of Navy Day on November 26. Nearly 600 swimmers from across the country took part in this competition. Umesh won the bronze in the ‘Differently Able’ group. He is an employee of the Rotary Corporation Sports Academy, member of Swimmers Club and Aquarius Swim Club, Belagavi and being trained by Ajinkya Mendke, Akshay Sheregar and Nitish Kuduchkar.

Source : The Hindu , 28th Nov 2014

Telangana unveils new industrial policy framework - Hyderabad

Nearly six months after Telangana was born, the state government on Thursday unveiled a new industrial policy framework promising rationalisation of taxes and offering incentives, eyeing up to 5 per cent higher manufacturing sector growth than national average.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (Photo: PTI)
                      Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao
"Innovate in Telangana, Invest in Telangana, Incorporate in Telangana" would be the motto of industrialisation in the state, the government said.

The vision for the new state's industrialisation is 'Research to Innovation; Innovation to Industry; Industry to Prosperity'.

"It is strongly believed that with the new industrial policy in place, a growth rate of 4-5 per cent greater than the national growth rate in the manufacturing sector can be achieved," the policy document said.

To supplement Research and Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH) and encourage innovation and incubation, the government would create a Research to Market Fund (RMF) to encourage entrepreneurial activity.

It would provide a matching contribution of up to Rs 100 crore to RMF for amounts contributed by private venture capitalists and angel investors.

The state government would remove and revise archaic and outdated laws that adversely impact industry and industrialisation.

The government noted that distortions in tax structure lead to evasion of taxes and clandestine transport of industrial inputs and outputs to neighbouring states, which may have advantageous tax rates.

"To address this problem, inter-state tax rationalisation on industrial inputs and outputs with states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu will be brought within a short span of time," the policy said. There would be enhanced incentive packages for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, physically handicapped and women entrepreneurs.

Mega projects with an investment of over Rs 200 crore in plant and machinery or employment above 1,000 people will receive tailor-made incentives in addition to standard large- category industry incentives, it was stated.

The government would consider providing incentives to entrepreneurs in areas like stamp duty reimbursement, land cost rebate, land conversion cost and power cost reimbursement, under its T-IDEA (Telangana State Industrial Development and Entrepreneur Advancement) incentive scheme.

"The cornerstone of the policy would be zero graft and zero tolerance to corruption, and the decision-making in all Departments in Telangana will be transparent. Department heads will be held responsible for all acts of omission and commission by staff under their jurisdiction," it said.

An online and help-desk grievance redressal system would be put in place where entrepreneurs will be encouraged to report instances of corruption or any delay in approvals.

Timely and strict disciplinary action would be taken against those employees who violate the parameters of the industrial policy framework.

The policy will make special provisions for SME and micro sectors, including making available adequate number of smaller plots in industrial parks for them.

Unveiling the policy in the Assembly, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the new framework intended to provide a business regulatory environment "where doing business would be as easy as shaking hands".

"Innovation and technology will drive the industries of Telangana," he added. The thrust areas identified by the Government include life sciences (including bulk drugs and formulations), IT hardware, precision engineering (including aerospace, aviation and defence), food processing, automobiles, textiles and apparel, plastics, gems and jewellery.

Simultaneously, a Bill was also introduced in the Assembly to enact the Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self-certification System (TS-iPASS) that would be a "single window without grills" for clearing all investment proposals.

The Bill was passed late in the evening after certain amendments proposed by the Opposition parties were rejected by the House.

Source : Deccan Chronicle , 27th Nov 2014

PDP Releases its ‘Aspirational Agenda’

Promising to remodel JK’s political and economic structure, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Friday said the party would pursue the Self-Rule framework for the resolution of the Kashmir issue and the issues confronting Jammu and Kashmir.

Releasing the party’s Manifesto for 2014 Assembly Polls christened “Aspirational Agenda”, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said, if it comes to power, PDP would strive towards making Jammu and Kashmir politically empowered, economically self reliant, environmentally safe, socially cohesive and culturally vibrant.

She said besides putting in place a mechanism for politico-economic remodeling of the State, PDP would initiate tangible measures for reforming the government to ensure effective governance, revive the civil society and provide greater opportunities to the youth to make them self-reliant.

Mehbooba said her party would use Article 370 to restore the original special status of the State as this special provision of the Constitution of India  is required to empower the people of J&K and help deal with the issues of identity, borders and governance. “Article 370 impacts everything in JK, from political discourse to personal responses, from economy to emotions, from society to sensibilities and from institutions to ideologies,” she said.

Mehbooba said PDP would also work towards closer ties across the Line of Control, making borders irrelevant in JK, reviving JK’s traditional connectivity with the rest of the world, promoting economic and social integration of the region, creation of a regional Free Trade Area and Common Economic Market as enshrined the party’s Self Rule framework.

Mehbooba said PDP would review the issues relating to notifying of ‘Disturbed Areas’ to pave the way for revocation of AFSPA. “We would also review all the cases against the youth and stop use of inhuman crowd control methods like the pellet guns,” she said and added a special toll free hotline would be created in the Chief Minister’s office for young state subjects who are in distress outside the state.

She said the party would initiate tangible measures for reintegration and re-absorption of Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmiri milieu. “PDP would also workout one-time settlement compensation for PoK refugees and pursue the resolution passed by JK assembly in 2005 for grant of ST status to the Pahari speaking people,” she said and added that a legislative framework would be worked out for empowerment of all minorities including Sikhs and Christians. She said a separate Scheduled Tribe Ministry would be set up for the welfare of Gujjars.

Mehbooba said her party would renegotiate all natural resource sharing agreements with the Centre, in particular water resources and the hydro-power projects. “We would seek share in the profits of NHPC emanating from J&K waters,” she said and added the party would also seek a review of the royalty agreement

She said while rehabilitation of flood affected and flood impacted will be the first priority of PDP, under the party’s economic policy framework, economic structure of J&K will be aligned with its own resources, skills and society. “Economic policy will not be formulated for government’s activities but for private businesses and enterprises,” she said and added that special economic zones would be created for different regions of the State including crafts and tourism for Jhelum Valley, hydropower for Chenab Valley, non conventional energy for Indus Valley, biotechnology for Pir Panchal and manufacturing and trade  for Jammu. For the journalists, the PDP will establish a Press Club in Srinagar, she said.

She said the core areas for focused attention would be power, horticulture, manufacturing, trade, tourism and crafts with various new initiatives being launched to promote these sectors.

To rejuvenate rural economy, Mehbooba said PDP would create Model Business Villages for horticulture and agriculture produce. She said each MBV will have high density orchard/production unit, storage/designing facility, picking and grading line/grinding unit and packaging and processing unit/marketing setup. She said three organic valleys would be setup in the state; one each in Chenab, Jhelum and Nubra Valleys to promote world-class organic farming.

Mehbooba said Srinagar and Jammu would be developed as smart cities with rapid transport system and other basic amenities besides creating more satellite cities in the State.

Mehbooba said connectivity intra and inter-region connectivity would be the thrust area of PDP government and the party would pursue construction of tunnels on Mughal Road, Anantnag-Sinthan-Kishtwar Road, Srinagar-Kargil Road, Bandipora-Gurez road, Kupwara-Karnah road. Besides, she said a separate tourism development authority would be setup for promotion of tourism along Mughal Road circuit.

She said special educational and health zones would be created in various parts of the State to facilitate setting up of quality education and health institutions to create employment and generate wealth.

Other initiatives enumerated in the Manifesto include institutionalizing vending business through legal framework, enhancing children rights relating to education, health & nutrition, provide special access to physically challenged, financial security for women and employment through entrepreneurship.

Besides, party Patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, senior party leaders and MPs, Muzaffar Hussain Beigh and Tariq Hameed Karra, legislator A R Veeri, chief spokesman Naeem Akhtar, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Altaf Bukhari and Moulvi Imran Raza Ansari were also present on the occasion.

Source : Kashmir Life , 28th Nov 2014

Driving in Delhi – God save our souls!

Delhi boasts of a well-developed transport system. Unlike a decade ago, most of the commercial areas are now well-connected with the Delhi Metro and hence, the roads have become relatively unclogged. Obviously, in an ever growing city like the Nation's capital, there is no dearth of traffic snarls and yet things have become much better than before.

When you get a new vehicle, all you want to do is, have fun with it. Young guys zip, zap and zoom through narrow streets. They try and emulate bike stunts and test the speed limits of their machines.

Without condoning their stupidity, I still do understand why they do it. It is after all young blood – adrenaline rushes through their veins. Most of them are inspired by numerous advertisements of the latest super-powered bikes by manufacturers.

But what percentage of these 18 to 22 year olds is actually driving daily on the roads?

The famed British automobile show, 'Top Gear' had come to India for one of its specials and even their hosts, who have driven on the most dangerous roads of the world, were flabbergasted with the nonchalant way people were driving in India.

First, there are just too many cars in Delhi. I have seen a family of three, who own six cars. I also know a family who didn't have money to send their girl child to school, but they did own a second hand car! Is it the failure of the public transport system or is it the lure of the banks which are eager to loan money to anyone willing to listen long enough?

On top of that people driving in the city do so without any civic sense. No one is interested in driving in their own lanes – and God forbid if you use your indicators when you change lanes. Red lights are for morons, if you go by the mentality of the drivers in Delhi. You can park anywhere you want – middle of the road, if need be. It seems that everyone turns into Superman when drunk, insisting on being stupid and not letting another person drive, or and not even thinking that drunk driving jeopardises your life as well as that of others.

The only times that people actually follow the traffic rules are when the cops are around. But if you have money in your pocket, then there is no reason to worry as the police is more likely to ask for a bribe than to actually fine you for breaking the rules.

People spit out of their vehicle without looking to see who is nearby. They throw cigarette butts, trash, water, vomit and anything else they don't want in their cars. They also attend calls on their mobile phones wherever and whenever they please. I simply have never understood that if you are indeed so important that it wouldn't do without attending the call in the middle of the road, why don't you use a hands-free system? It is safer, for you and those driving around you.

Plus, it would be nice if the two wheeler riders did not just cut in to every little space they find on an already jam-packed road. Added to the woes of driving in this craze is pedestrian behaviour. With roads being as busy as they are, people seem to jump out at the most inopportune moments from the middle of nowhere. Although J-walking is strictly prohibited on the roads, people refuse to adhere to the rules. Even with the presence of foot over bridges or underground subways, everyone just choses to cross the road from wherever they please. Even if they are a few metres away - sometimes even with small children in tow. Imagine having to anticipate people springing out right in front of your vehicle while you are driving on the national highway, especially if there is fog or it is raining.

Don't even get me started on those who honk incessantly. It would confound the sharpest thinkers as to what they think they would achieve if they honk loudly for the duration of the red light. Would other cars suddenly vanish, or would they sprout wings if they honk too much and fly away from all the jams they have been facing?

It is this rash behaviour which makes the city an absolute nightmare to drive in. Drivers are unbelievably unapologetic about breaking traffic rules. The lamest I have heard is that since other people do it, you should do it too. There are daily incidents of accidents, many of which are deadly or lead to the loss of limbs. Life in our country has no price, no one cares about a few dead on the road due to a lack of sense.

It is almost as if the transport authority doesn't care about who is getting a drivers' license, and absolutely no one fears repercussions of rash driving. Or maybe, it is the lack of empathy and manners reflected in our general behaviour towards physically challenged individuals and old people too, which we absolutely need to change.

Things are at the worst they could be, and the danger is literally lurking at every corner. Whether you are a good driver or not would not make any difference to you being prone to a massive accident.

I would not be wrong in saying that driving in Delhi would make the monks in Himalayas lose their cool!

Source : Zee News , 28th Nov 2014

MQM Vows to Fulfill PPP’s Promise of Roti Kapra Aur Makan - Pakistan

The Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM)’s leader claims to fulfill the promise made by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to provide bread, cloth and shelter for the people of Sindh.

MQM vs PPP in Sindh. PakistanTribe.Com

PakistanTribe‘s correspondent reported on Thursday that MQM leader Ashfaq Mangi made this statement while addressing a sit-in by differently able persons outside the local press club.

Twenties of the physically challenged persons were staging a sit-in to demand jobs and relief from PPP’s Government of Sindh. However, even after 47 days of protest no government official appeared at the site.

MQM Coordination Committee memeber Ashfaq Mangi visited the sit-in on the advise of their supremo Altaf Hussain. He also announced to donate Rs 100,000 for each differently able person as token of respect from Altaf Hussain.

Mangi stated “I ask from the Chief Minister of Sindh if he wants to make all of the Sindh another Thar.”

MQM’s Press Conference

In another press conference from Karachi, MQM leader Senator Babar Ghauri bashed the PPP government for their corruption. He said “Whole world believes in local policing. But at any given time people from PPP’s favorite areas hold more inducts in police force. Where do young men from urban areas go then? It is their due right to get a fair chance of government jobs. Then if these young men from cities demand a separate administrative unit then you start crying.”

Source : Pakistan Tribe , 27th Nov 2014

Cards for special needs people to help 13,000 in Dubai

Providing discounts on an array of services including public transport and healthcare, Sanad card falls under ‘My community’ initiative of the CDA.

Community Development Authority (CDA) Director-General Khaled Al Kamda.

A new card providing exclusive privileges to the 13,000 people living with disabilities in Dubai is to be launched next month. However, dedicated financing to help support the families of these individuals is still some way off.

Speaking exclusively to Khaleej Times on Wednesday ahead of the official release of the ‘Sanad Card’, Community Development Authority (CDA) Director-General Khaled Al Kamda said the card will be available to everyone in the community.

“There are 4,900 Emirati nationals with disabilities living in Dubai but this card will be on offer to expatriates, as well.”

Providing discounts on an array of services including public transport and healthcare, the card falls under ‘My community’ initiative, which was launched earlier this year by Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
Enabling the CDA to foster a deeper relationship with the disabled community here, the card will also help formulate more specialised data regarding disabilities in the emirate, Kamda said.

“Although we have some data relating to this section of the community, it is not in accordance with international standards. The Sanad card will allow us to identify what disabilities people have and in turn, we can set up a specialised database.”

Disabling finances

When asked about the burdening costs of looking after a child with a physical or mental disability, Kamda agreed that more specialised services need to be implemented to help ease the strain on caregivers. “Financing is definitely the heaviest burden for parents of children with disabilities, setting aside the emotional burden of course.”

Categorising the issue into two groups, he said healthcare and education costs prove to be the biggest strain. “Some specialised centres in the emirate charge up to Dh25,000 per child, per month. We think this is unfair.”

Working closely with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to standardise a special insurance card for families of those with special needs, steps are being taken to lower the costs of specialised care requirements. “The CDA have now handed over its recommendations to the DHA, so we can expect to see an insurance card within months.”

However, he did add the CDA currently provides social funding to Emirati families here.

Dominating integration

Of the 13 initiatives falling under the ‘My Community’ umbrella, the CDA has initiated nine, including the Sanad Relay Centre for the deaf. With a number of early intervention centres already up and running in the emirate, it is imperative that more specialised disability centres be established to keep in line with the rising population.

“There is a gap in terms of capacity here but the CDA are encouraging private sectors to open these types of centres.”

But with private organisations come higher costs.

Asked whether pricing at these centres would be monitored, Kamda said yes. “We will look to lower the cost at such centres. The CDA provides all its services free of charge, so we want these private sectors to take this on board,” he said.

Breaking the stigma

With a vision to encourage those with disabilities to be “independent rather than dependant”, the CDA’s aim is to have most children in mainstream schools by age six.

At present, it is drafting plans with the Dubai Executive Council to introduce special education assistants into the classroom as a standard. A service which will be at no extra cost to families, he said.

“The schools will bear the cost of this special care, but we are finding that some schools are hesitant to take on children with special needs.” But steps are being taken to instill this confidence in schools.

Currently in the process of establishing a support centre for disability, the CDA will provide support to educational facilities as well as families. “We need to support the school with regards to teacher training. They need to know how to handle these children as it’s not easy,” he said.

To date, the CDA has successfully enrolled 48 children with disabilities into mainstream schools; a figure Kamda hopes to see increase, month by month.

The partners for the Sanad Card initiative are: Dubai Municipality, Dubai Customs, RTA, Dewa, Dubai Police, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Aramex, Aswaq, Saudi German Hospital, Al Jaber Optical and Nasser Bin Abdullatif Al Serkal Foundation.

Source : Khaleej times , 27th Nov 2014

Right to education: NSF convention calls for more public universities - SHEIKHUPURA

“Students must resist privatisation and commercialisation of education,” said Khalid Hamid, the newly-elected president of National Students Federation (NSF) on Thursday.

Students criticized governments for what they called weak policies that had affected the quality and accessibility of education.

He was addressing the NSF Punjab convention held in Sheikhupura.

“Neo-liberal economic policies have made education inaccessible,” he said. Students must demand uniform and easily accessible education opportunities for all.”

Hamid said education was a fundamental right and not a privilege.

“We cannot accept that only those who can afford quality education should have access to it,” he said. “We must put an end to the class-based education system.”

Earlier, the new leadership of the NSF was elected.

A press release said Husnain Raza had been elected information secretary, Usman Chaudhry from Sargodha was elected senior vice president, Shumaila from Toba Tek Singh and Naseem Akhtar from Multan were elected vice presidents; Ali Raza from Sheikhupura general secretary; Muhammad Shehzad from Lahore and Shahzad Watoo from Pakpattan joint secretaries and Abdur Rehman from Faisalabad finance secretary.

The convention was attended by students of various public colleges and universities of the province.

Following the convention, a rally marched from Batti Chowk to Baldia Hall.

The students carried placards with slogans like ‘education for all, employment for all’, ‘restore students union’ and ‘raise education budget to 10 per cent of the GDP’.

They also chanted slogans, urging the chief minister to open a Waris Shah University in Sheikhupura, build a university in Jhang and open more colleges in Kasur, saying one degree college was not enough.

They criticised governments for what they called weak policies that had affected the quality and accessibility of education.

Addressing the rally, outgoing president of NSF Arfan Chaudhry highlighted achievements in reorganising left-wing students and hoped that the new leadership would continue reorganising at various levels.

He stressed there was a need to connect campus politics to working class politics.

“We are sons and daughters of workers and peasants and it is our duty to struggle for the working class,” he said.

“Student politics cannot work in a vacuum. It stems from the society. We cannot isolate ourselves from national and international politics,” he added.

“A left-wing students organisation has no purpose if it does not contribute towards building a mass working class movement,” he said.

Source : The Express Tribune , 29th Nov 2014

Wheel of time finally rolls in their favour

            12 people with disabilities get to intern with tech major

Wheel of time finally rolls in their favour

When 12 wheelchair bound people gazed in wonder as they made their way inside the huge glass doors of a building recently, they were scripting a new chapter in the city's techsector: They were part of the first batch of an internship programme rolled out by a tech-park for persons with profound disabilities! EMC Corporation near Doddanekundi on Outer Ring Road ushered in the disabled persons as part of "Redefine Abilities" -a one-year internship programme geared at taking disabled persons one step closer to their career path and making them financially independent.EMC India, with the support of Enable India, a non-profit organisation, had identified 12 interns for both technical and non-technical projects.

The excitement was evident when they stepped in early this week. While many maintained that they were always intrigued about what happens behind the glass facade of the swanky buildings that houses IT companies, 45year-old Arun Adhyam, who suffers from cerebral palsy, said: "I want to be a part of an MNC because it will help me become punctual." He is joined by Avinash Sonnad who added: "Not just that, I want to prove myself." Son nad is a cerebral palsy patient who has completed his BCA course from Christ University. The Redefine Abilities pro gramme was jointly con ceived by Deepa Narasimhan -a profoundly disabled per son herself who works at EMC. In an interaction with BANGALORE MIRROR on why she started this programme, she says: "I felt very successful at my workplace and this is where we decided to bring in more people and help them become as independent as I feel."

Simply put, a profoundly disabled person is someone who suffers from multiple dis abilities, making that person heavily dependent on other people. For example: 30-year old Pradeep Sinha from Kol kata is both deaf and blind. The only way he communi cates with people is through sign language, holding hands with the speaker. However, the interns pre sent proved to be tech savvy and used a variety of assistive tools such as speech recogni tion software, word predic tion software, magnifiers for better viewing and even a de vice which uses eye control for navigating the mouse in computers to keep pace with grasping everything they were being taught. The tech nological assistance was pro vided by charitable trust En able India, co-founders of the internship programme.

Most of the interns in the group had no experience in the corporate sector. Some of them made their living through part-time jobs or tak ing tuitions. Here they made their first foray into the corpo rate world by learning appli cations related to TeamView er, Skype and Dropbox to communicate with each oth er, as the programme was set to go virtual after three days.

Source : Bangalore Mirror , 28th Nov 2014