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Sunday, 24 May 2015

Tribute: End of the Rope...Never the End of Hope - By Anna Fernandes

"No, sorry! She cannot gain admission in our school. She needs to be sent to attend a special school!!!”
These were the words of the Principal in Divine Child High School, Andheri when the young and eager parents of a five year old sought KG admission. “Just give us one week and we shall bring her back and you will not deny her admission in the school.” This was their subtle reply. This is exactly what they did and the five-year old Anitha Pinto went on to study in the same school, one of the renowned schools in town. Not only did this very tiny, puny little frail child jump the hurdle of passing each year with impressive results, she also excelled & scaled new heights in academics and went on to win the excellence certificate from the hands of the very principal who had denied her admission. Remind her of the rendezvous she had a couple of years ago with the same child and she stands spell bound!

In the wee hours of the 2nd day of November, 1979, our noble earth just got richer….because, in a humble middle-class Mangalorean Catholic family in Andheri, God sent a sweet first born girl child to Henry and Winnie Pinto. As much as they rejoiced at the bounteous gift of a sweet baby girl, doctors mellowed their new- found happiness by informing that their bundle of joy was born with a rare bone deformity & will remain physically challenged and might even not see many moons! Initially, though the news distressed the Pintos, but, it served no deterrent for the God-fearing parents. Both the parents were adamant and never gave up. They raised the child like any other but with incessant extra efforts and she survived 34 and half long years making the doctors eat their own words!

From infancy to adulthood, under the caring and watchful eyes of her parents and her two younger sisters, Anitha braved every challenge which came her way. Battling with minor to major health problems from birth, Anitha was on and off on medications. Irrespective of this constant challenge, any scholastic activity was accepted by Anitha with a welcoming grace and excitement not seen normally in any other kid of her age.

Be it rendering a helping hand at home, participating in society welfare functions, church & parish activities, studying to be a graduate (B.A.) and even taking up a career in a multi-national bank, her exuberance was unmatched. She took immense joy in manifesting her capabilities wherever she could. One thing was certain, whatever she took up she won’t put it down until well-done. Take for example the decision of enrolling to be an active animator in the community church groups. This involved regular family visits, even climbing three floors to distribute Church tidings and attending prayer meetings and conducting and organizing zonal activities. She did it all with an endless flame of fervour and desire burning inside her.

She always wanted to be perfect in the things that she did. May be because somewhere she wished to fill the gap! Be it maintaining documents and albums, slam books from 2000s or being organised and neat, her work would be impeccable and clean!

An important & affectionate characteristic which warrants a mention is her remarkable memory and her profound affection to friends, family and acquaintances. This, she exhibited in a very special & unique way. Anyone and Everyone who knew Anitha do not remember any special occasion of their lives, be it a birthday, wedding anniversary, or any important event of their lives, without a personal wish from Anitha on that very day, without fail and every year. She in fact has maintained a diary with each one’s special occasions with days and years mentioned! She loved to light someone’s day with a pleasing wish and making sure to tell the person that their big day is not forgotten.

The worldly allurements never really fascinated her; she was a hallmark of simplicity & contentment bearing a cherubic smile on her face, even in the event of any hardship.

Just like a tiny mustard seed which grows rapidly like a cedar tree, Anitha’s self-confidence and courage helped her in combating & converting formidable odds with ease, though she had her share of disappointments & failures, like any other girl of her age.

A silent uncomplaining girl, only Anitha and her close family knew the pain and suffering she underwent, but never a whimper or a groan. Being it the umpteen number of tablets and syrups that she has downed, to the diseases that she was a target of, to the ins & outs of hospitals in the last few months of her life, she endeavoured to step into the Lord’s yoke at every instance. God gave her a special life & shaped her life to be a vivid example for all of us to emulate.

Two simply inspiring qualities of Anitha were unarguably her unfailing Courage and forbearing Kindness towards all, so very unconditionally. Speaking of her courage, there is something very touching about her. All the odds seemed against her, but her decided will which was behind her on every move didn’t led trials ever shake her. The strength of her quality was by far ahead of her quantitive physical weakness. Though, on numerous instances, her health failed her, helplessness never writ on her face or expressions. Rashid Hospital in Dubai threw their hands up in the air on the cold night of 19th of Jan, 2014 but her will power kept her going. She most certainly wanted to be back in India and spend her last days in her country and no one was going to take that away from her. For the records, in the history of Rashid Hospital, one of the renowned hospitals in the UAE, no patient had as many visitors as Anitha had in her two months stay in the hospital. The doctors and nurses were apparently also astonished by her strong will power captured by a weak body. She simply didn’t LET GO!

I know now that we never get over great losses; we absorb them and they carve us into different, often kinder, creatures.

Trials that Anitha and her parents, younger sisters, brother in law and niece have encountered have been used by God to mould their characters and the persons they are today. Such can be our own experiences too, if we place ourselves in the hands of the One who gives courage in times of discouragement and disdain.

Slow to anger, she often helped us examine our own hearts. In the hospital bed, in her helpless condition, she said a million unspoken words rendering pearls of wisdom & awesome inspiration. Her birth and life were indeed a precious & priceless gift to her family. Anitha, a true champion!

Great was her zeal for life, harnessed by a passionate fervour to animate & transcend to those who came in touch with her. To us, she reigns supreme in our hearts & minds as an epitome of simple living yet surpassing values.

Rich and flowing tributes poured out in Anitha’s honour during her month’s mind mass from all kinds of people who had closely known her and otherwise. The most striking, reminiscent and applauding fact was that tributes came even from people who have never met her before, simply because she led a highly virtuous life and also hearing how everybody wanted to share his/her happy moments with Anitha.

We hope that through our small effort of this Memoir in Anitha’s fond remembrance, the world will continue to experience the beauty of her life. She continues to live, enthral and inspire all of us.

From up there in Heaven, may Anitha continue to inspire us, like she did, while on Earth, to turn tragedy into triumph, obstacles into opportunities, and worst times into best and problems into projects having everlasting value, all through the faith in our Lord.

Darling Anitha, God saw you getting tired, when a cure was not to be. He wrapped his arms around you and said – COME TO ME. You didn’t deserve what you went through so he gave you the needed rest.

God’s garden must be beautiful as he only takes the BEST!

Anitha, We love you!

Tribute by Anna Fernandes
(A dear friend of Anitha)

Source: Daiji World, 24th May 2015 

Letters flood DUAC seeking speedy passage of new building bylaws - DELHI


DUAC — after reviewing more than 1,300 suggestions has submitted its draft to the MoUD.


“Please sir, a common man builds a house once in his lifetime. Thousands of people like me are waiting for the new building bye laws to be implemented…,” a Rohini resident wrote in a letter addressed to the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC). Another resident of Vikaspuri in West Delhi wrote, “We will be grateful… if you will listen to the voice of millions of people waiting for their maps to be sanctioned according to the new guidelines…Our dream house will come true”.

These and scores of other such letters have been pouring in to DUAC’s office, which along with the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), are in the process of revising the Unified Building By Laws (UBBL) — 31 years after they were first implemented in the national capital. 
The DUAC — after reviewing more than 1,300 suggestions from various stakeholders including individuals, municipal corporations, architects, engineers and other government agencies — has submitted its draft to the MoUD. However, the official notification for the implementation of the UBBL is yet to be finalised. Ministry sources said the draft was submitted a month ago and is presently with the DDA for review and suggestions. Ministry sources said the notification should be finalised in another month.
Meanwhile, Delhi residents have been frequently writing to the DUAC expressing their eagerness to see the new laws formalised soon.
“We feel proud and appreciate the hard work and broad vision of Prime MinisterNarendra Modi and Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu. After a lot of effort…the new amended bylaws for Delhi were uploaded on your website. It shows confidence that these amendments will be implemented…The waiting period is very long but as the Modi government is now in power, our hopes of building a house have been restored,” another letter stated.
Another letter has been sent by a physically-challenged woman, whose parents are also disabled. She has requested that the notification be expedited while incorporating the rule of maintaining residential ‘set back’ requirements. ‘Set back’ is the minimum space to be maintained from the property boundary so that there is space for ventilation and a sizeable distance between two houses.
“My mother is 76 years old and suffers from osteoarthritis and high cholesterol. I am also disabled and use mobility aids while my father is wheel-chair bound… In a house where there is no back lane, we have to undergo hardships and face problems of five buildings,” she stated.
A senior government official said, “The bylaws affect residents directly and they are eager for its implementation. The new laws will be implemented soon.” 

Source: The Indian Express, 24th May 2015 

Walk the friendly ramp

In Margarita with a Straw, Kalki Koechlin plays a rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves India to study
In Margarita with a Straw, Kalki Koechlin plays a rebellious young woman with cerebral palsy who leaves India to study


A recent campaign to provide friendlier public spaces for differently abled people addresses an issue that has been long overdue. Many supporters of the cause opine that it’s “us” who need to change.

After Margarita With A Straw, the movement for the rights of the differently abled received a shot in the arm, through ambassador Kalki Koechlin. Now, yet another innovative initiative is highlighting the lack of accessibility that characterises most of our public spaces, for those battling physical challenges.

The recently launched initiative — called the “Red Ramp Project” — is the brainchild of H&R Johnson and was conceptualised by Mumbai-based ad form Soho Square. It’s intent is to make India “access friendly for the disabled”, with which aim in mind, they have released a film that depicts three independent individuals with varying physical challenges, and their quest to visit a beach. Through the Red Ramp Project, the team is hoping to encourage the general public and policy makers to think seriously about providing disabled people access at public spaces all over the country.

“With more than 10 million physically challenged people in the country, most disabled people (moving in wheel chairs and crutches) live normal lives except when accessing basic public spaces like office buildings, railway stations, beaches, airports, malls, cinema halls, parks and religious spaces like temples, churches, mosques, gurudwaras, and so on. It is a worrying fact that only five percent of India is disabled-friendly.”

“...The movement will hopefully nudge every individual to contribute in some small capacity starting by looking at the environment around them with sensitised eyes,” read a note from the Red Ramp Project team.
Those who have been working in the field for a while now believe the problem is one of lack of awareness. Enable India, an NGO, has been working to promote the rights of the differently abled, over the past decade. Pranesh Nagri, the director of the organisation, says, “Accessibility is a necessity not just for people with some form of disability but also for people of old age, pregnant women, a child and so on. And if you are not providing appropriate facilities and infrastructure for them, then it is almost like refusing them their basic right of living. Unfortunately, Indian society at large has to become conscious about the accessibility issue.”

“We have a very long way to go,” agrees Dr Sam Taraporevala, who heads the department of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Xavier’s College and also directs the Xavier’s Resource Center for the Visually Challenged. Sam is visually impaired himself and has championed the rights of the visually impaired for several years now. “Although, since 1995, we have legislation empowering people with disabilities (Persons with Disabilities: Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation Act, 1995), the implementation in terms of public spaces set up and run by the government — as also private — hasn’t been up to the mark. It’s only now that the government is almost being arm-twisted by civil society groups and perhaps judicial activism, that they have started doing something,” he says, adding, “Luckily the metros and the monorails are both accessible, although to bring local trains to a standard is going to take far more imagination and commitment.”

Sam also points to the interim order that the Bombay High Court passed on May 20 — that the right to good roads is a fundamental right of citizens under right to life — and held that it was the state’s statutory obligation to provide good roads.

“Now, we have a very forward looking judgement from the Mumbai High Court, which can perhaps allow low-floor buses, but there’s a long way to go in terms of public spaces, things like restaurant, etc — most of them don’t even have a ramp, and a ramp is not just a slope, it has to meet gradient requirements. You go to many theatres — I’m not saying all — but most don’t have a slot to park a wheelchair. So when you talk about accessibility, the only good thing is that people have started talking about it,” he says.

However, there are some measures that are seeking to bring in a change at various levels. For instance, earlier this year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation declared plans to develop a garden to help kids with autism and other such disabilities to sharpen their senses. Then there are people like Mihir Apte, an engineer who manufactures robotic instruments for the defence industry, who has built a robotic vehicle called Walk Assist.

“In one of our interactions with Defence Research Development Organisation, they came up with a requirement saying that they need something to rehabilitate soldiers suffering from paraplegic or quadriplegic impairments. That is how we started building our robotic equipment. The product is commercially available for Rs 2,15,000. Walking becomes simpler because the fear of falling is totally absent. They can also keep track of their own rehabilitation and analyse, which increases confidence,” he explains.

According to Mihir, however, what needs to change, is the dearth of compassion. He recollects an instance where a well-intentioned corporator, “was extremely sensitive towards differently-abled people and she had made the slopes at the edge of the footpath, meant for those on a wheelchair”. “But eventually, bikers kept using them, which raised a problem. So before anything, the mentality of the people needs to change,” he concludes.

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Source: Asian Age , 23rd May 2015 

Celebrating 3 Years of Supporting the Underprivileged and Needy - CHENNAI

People should strive towards the uplift of the poor and underprivileged. India has a galaxy of social reformers, saints and sages who laid a strong foundation for a country filled with moral, spiritual and human values, said Governor K Rosaiah at the third anniversary celebrations of Ungalkaaga Trust, an NGO working to help the socially disadvantaged.
“One could see an increase in the number of voluntary and social service organisations, and charitable trusts. It is nice to see them coming forward to give a helping hand to those in distress, to the poor and needy,” he said, while wishing the Trust on its mission ahead.
Two  Class 12 toppers from government and aided schools — S Gayathri,  a student of Ahobila mutt School, West Mambalam, who scored 1,190 (State 3rd Rank), and D Angel, a student of Government Higher Secondary School, Ashok Nagar, who scored 1,172 marks — received gold medals from the Governor.
He also distributed a Bilateral Above Knee Orthosis with Ethaflex Padding (a support brace) for a cerebral palsy-affected patient and a tri-scooter to a physically-challenged couple on behalf of the Trust.
A video showing the development of the Trust since its inception, and the contribution of Dr Suneel, a physiotherapist and founder of the Trust, was screened at the event. Suneel has organised various service projects, like providing education to 29 students, who are currently pursuing medicine, engineering, management and other professional courses.
He has performed 216 surgeries for patients from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, who were affected by various health problems, and has organised blood donation camps over the last three years through the Ungalkaaga Trust.
Felicitation was given by Subba Reddy, chairman , Pallava Group. Actor Vivekh delivered the special address.   S U Arunachalam, IPS, CBI, Joint Director South India and G M Akbar Ali, Judge, High Court of Madras, also appreciated the philanthropic pursuits of the Trust and Dr Suneel. 

Source: The New Indian Express, 23rd May 2015

Self-employment: City Corp Turns Benefactor - Thiruvanthapuram

 It was a day for the City Corporation to shower largesse on women, children and differently-abled. On Friday, the civic body distributed assistance for the needy to gain self-employment.
 This is for the first time that the City Corporation is being able to realise its years’ long promise of gifting autorickshaws to women. On each of the previous occasions, it hardly moved an inch than being budgetary announcements. The plan to present the vehicles to 100 women could be made practical only partly. “We had proposed a sum of Rs 50 lakh for the project. However, eligible applicants holding driving licence numbered just five. The financial assistance is arranged through bank loan and subsidy. The subsidy amount, borne by the Corporation, is directly paid to the bank,” said Welfare Standing Committee chairman Palayam Rajan.
 For the furniture distribution of school children belonging to fishermen families, the list included 600 beneficiaries. Furniture comprising study table and chair will be provided at the wards concerned. The students from high school classes adhering to the criteria were chosen from the list approved by the Education Deputy Director and obtained from schools.  The second edition of talking computer system distribution for the visually-impaired had nine beneficiaries, mostly students. Both these schemes included no beneficiary contribution.  Meanwhile, the three-wheeled scooters for the physically challenged are also getting ready for distribution.
 The continuation of the project ‘Nanma’, which provides financial aid for the intellectually-challenged children, was  held on the day. This was for those students who could not get the money directly paid to the bank account and came as demand draft. Scholarships for the physically-handicapped students were also distributed on the occasion.
 The programme was inaugurated by Mayor K Chandrika.

Source: The New Indian Express, 23rd May 2015 

Prison inmates, physically challenged outperform regular students - KOLKATA


Along with the inmates from correctional home, physically handicapped students performed better than regular students.

Students celebrating after their Madhyamik exam result were declared in Kolkata on Friday.– Photo: Sanjoy Ghosh

                         Students celebrating after their Madhyamik exam result were declared in Kolkata on Friday 

Inmates from several correctional homes in the State and physically challenged students outperformed general students in the Class X exams of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, the results of which were declared on Friday.

While the overall pass percentage across the State staggered around 82.66, the correctional home inmates scored a perfect 100 per cent. Out of the 30 examinees that wrote the examination, all managed to pass the same. This also included three women inmates from Alipore Women Correctional Home and one from Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home. The female inmate from Jalpaiguri Central Correctional Home, Malti Rajbhar, secured over 67 per cent marks.

“Over the years, a support structure helping the inmates who appear for the Madhyamik (Class X) and Higher Secondary examination has developed in our correctional homes. In certain cases the correctional home arranges for the examination fees as well as books for the candidates,” Adhir Sharma, Additional Director General and Inspector General, West Bengal Correctional Services, told The Hindu .

Along with the inmates from correctional home, physically handicapped students performed better than regular students.

According to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, the physically handicapped students registered a pass percentage of 90.22.

About 10.27 lakh candidates had appeared in examination that was held across the State in February this year and 8.28 lakh students have qualified the exams.

Though boys have registered a higher pass percentage at 86.61, that of girls has improved at 79.12.

Another interesting point is that Muslim girls have appeared in more number than Muslim boys.

While the number of Muslim boys writing the examination was 96,400, 1.45 lakh Muslim girls wrote the examination.

While some districts surpassed Kolkata in terms of pass percentage, certain schools emerged with exceptional results. In the merit list published by the Board, which named 47 students, nine including the first rank holder, was from Bankura Zilla School. 

Source: The Hindu , 23rd May 2015 

Golf cart at city railway station to ferry disabled, senior citizens - CHANDIGARH

chandigarh railway station, chandigarh station, chandigarh station senior cititzens facilities, indian rialways, chandigarh news, india news,Golf cart introduced at Chandigarh railway station for senior citizens and disabled on Friday, May 22 2015. Express photo by Jaipal Singh

Coming to the aid of senior citizens and physically challenged at the Chandigarh Railway Station, the Northern Railway has deployed an electric golf cart to ferry commuters on the station premises.
The car, being operated by the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation, will be parked at the end of platform number 1, close to the ramps, and will be available free of cost.
“It has been observed that the elderly and the differently abled find it difficult to walk on the platforms. To minimise their inconvenience, electric four-seater carts will be deployed exclusively for them,” A K Kathpal, Divisional Railway Manager, Ambala Division, said.
The move comes as a relief for many people who suffered due to the erratic functioning of the escalators at the station and had to use the stairs instead.
Ahmed Nabi, 63, a passenger, welcomed the move and said it would improve the image of the local station. “On my last visit, I could barely climb the stairs. Left with no alternative, I asked a passerby to lift me on his shoulders and help me clear the difficulty. The golf cart facility eased my burden. The railways should keep one on each platform to ensure that the maximum number of people can avail the service.”

Source: The Indian Express, 23rd May 2015 

55-year-old man held for rape bid on minor - Bihar Sharif

A 55-year-old man made a bid to sexually assault a minor girl at a village under Chandi police station (PS) in Nalanda district on May 19. However, the father of the minor reported the matter to the police on May 21 after which the police arrested the accused and the minor was sent to Biharsharif sadar hospital for medical examination. 

Sources said eight-year-old minor girl, a resident of village Makundan Bigha under Chandi PS area in Nalanda was sexually assaulted by an elderly shopkeeper Balram Ramani after she went to buy 'bidis' for her physically challenged father. 

Hilsa DSP Pravendra Bharti said the accused disrobed the minor but before he could force himself upon her, she managed to escape from his confinement and narrated her woes to her father who lodged a complaint with all-woman-police station on Thursday.

Source: TOI, 23rd May 2015 

Physically challenged Wilfred Gomes contests GP election - UDUPI

Urging for the reservation for the physically challenged persons in India for election similar to the countries such as America and Briton, the President of the Udupi district unit of the Federation of Physically Handicapped Associations Wilfred Gomes has stood for the Grama Panchayath election this time.

44 years of age Wilfred Gomes has been the victim of polio at the age of 2 years. Being a graduate, he has built the association for the physically handicapped many years ago and he fights for their rights.

He is contesting the election independently from Pilar – 2 ward of Mudarangadi Grama Panchayath of Kaup Vidana Sabha constituency, without the support of any political party.

“The scheduled castes and tribes are given reservation because they are socially and financially exploited. Even the women are given reservation now in contesting the election. But the physically challenged are also exploited, so why they are not given reservation”, questions Gomes.

Since there is no reservation for the physically challenged persons, he is contesting as a general candidate and thus he is attempting to draw the attention of the government towards the plights of the 15,000 physically handicapped in the district and about 2 lakhs in the state.

“There is rule that 3% of the income in every Grama Panchayath has to be spent for the welfare of the physically challenged. But none of the Grama Panchayaths are implementing this. There are no schemes undertaken for the welfare of the handicapped. The same situation in Taluk Panchayath and Zilla Panchayath”, says Gomes.

If this has to change then there should be members in Panchayath who are compassionate towards the physically challenged. For this reason there should be reservation for the physically challenged and they should be elected, he said.

Running a travel agency Gomes is married and has two daughters. Hundreds of the physically handicapped have already expressed their support to him. They have also said that they will come to support him in the election campaign in coming week.

Gomes says that he feels confident of winning from this kind of support. If he wins, he wants to fight for the various facilities for the physically challenged such as house plots, pension, health insurance etc. He says, he may not be able to achieve anything much alone. But inspired from him many more take up the election challenge

Source: Udupi Today , 22nd May 2015 

Residents pour out civic woes at Janaspandana - Bangaluru

Hundreds of residents of Ramamurthynagar in KR Puram Assembly constituency poured out their civic woes at the Janaspandana organised by Deccan Herald and Prajavani in the City on Saturday.

S Chitra of Hoysalanagar fired the first salvo, pointing out lack of trees in the locality. She offered to bring volunteers if the Palike organised a sapling plantation drive. The suggestion was welcomed by all the participants at the event. K S Devaraj, the BBMP Joint Commissioner for Mahadevapura zone, agreed to help Chitra in her endeavour to increase the green cover.

 Nagamma of Vijinapura sought to know whether the district authorities would raze their buildings as many of them do not have the ‘Hakku Patra,’  (title deed), conferring land ownership. Byrathi Basavaraj, the MLA from KR Puram constituency assured the woman that the State government had decided not to demolish any building till the House Panel on Lake Encroachment submits its report.

Jayaram of NRI Colony complained about lack of streetlights, roads without asphalt and the absence of a post office. In his reply, the MLA assured him that the roads and streetlights would be repaired soon. He told the audience that a post office would be set up at the Horamavau office of the Palike. 

A similar complaint was made by the Golden Gate Apartment residents. They said that there was no road in their area. They also demanded for a police check-post to contain the activities of anti-social elements. Many people complained about the lack of garbage clearance in their area. 

During the Janaspandana, the Apartment Owners' Association donated Rs 25,000 towards the Nepal earthquake relief work.

Patrick Peter, a resident of Dasappa Bakery Road said that the road was not tarred and accidents happen frequently, while residents of Kuvempu Nagar Association rued about battered roads in their neighbourhood. 

Horamavu Agara Welfare Association members said that garbage was being dumped at Punyabhumi Layout near Kelkere Government School and the schoolchildren were facing health hazard due to uncleared garbage.

The general complaint in Janaspandana was about the poor water supply and sewerage in the constituency. The MLA told the gathering that a proposal had been mooted to the Central government through the State government to avail a loan of Rs 5,180 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide these facilities.

The Janaspandana brought some cheers to a physically handicapped, who begged for a shop to lead a life with self-esteem.  He told the officials that he and his mother, both were handicapped and were facing serious challenge for survival. The MLA as well as the BBMP officials assured him that they would find a way out for him.

Regarding complaint about the lack of bus services to the Banashankari, Jayanagar and JP Nagar, Basavaraj told the gathering that he had urged the Transport and District in charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy to provide more buses from Ramamurthy Nagar to different locations in the City. Bengaluru East Tahsildar Harish Naik and around 25 officials of various government departments were present on the occasion to respond to the citizens’ woes.

Source: Deccan Herald, 23rd May 2015 

Bride refuses to marry groom after finding he is handicapped - KANPUR ( U.P )

A bride in Kanpur Dehat district refused to marry the groom after she found out that he was physically handicapped, police said. 

The incident took place yesterday morning in Akbarpur area when the bride, during the wedding ceremony, noticed that the groom was not using his right hand, Akbarpur police station Sub-Inspector H K Tiwari said. 

She stood up in the middle of the ceremony and asked the groom to sho her his arm to verify her doubt. After a heated argument, the bride's demand prevailed and he took off his shirt, revealing that he had a handicapped arm, Tiwari said. 

The bride then walked out of the wedding, causing an uproar. The police was asked to intervene in the matter and they asked the two parties to return the jewellry and money which was exchanged, following which the wedding was cancelled and the groom and his relatives returned to their village, he added.

Source: Business Standard Via PTI, 22nd May 2015 

Blind girl gives Zoella a run for her money as amazing make-up tutorials rack up over 400,000 fans


Move over Zoella – there’s a new beauty vlogger in town


A blind girl has become an Internet session with her incredible make-up tutorials.
Lucy Edwards has already racked up more than 400,000 fans who love watching her perfectly apply her make-up – including the typically tricky liquid eyeliner.
The 19-year-old started creating the popular vlogs as a way to show that being blind doesn’t stop her from living a normal life.
Dominic Lipinski/PAYouTube star Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella
YouTube star Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella
Birminghambased Lucy has a rare condition called incontinentia pigmenti - she lost sight in her right eye when she was 11 and in her left when she was 17.
In the about section on her Youtube page -– Yesterdays Wishes - she writes: “A place on the internet that discusses everything from Guide Dogs to make-up that bridges the gap between the disabled and the perfectly-abled.
“There are days when giving up seems like the better option but everyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.”
Blind Teenager makeup videos
Lucy with her make-up palette
Lucy also aims to educate her viewers and does a segment called What Is? in which she answers subscriber questions about eyes.
In her video What is Blindess? she reveals not just basic facts about being blind but also what it means to her.
“Blindness in my everyday life is looking into a flashing light every day. Blindness is relying on someone or something,” she reveals.
Blind Teenager makeup videos
Blind Teenager makeup videos
“Blindness isn’t just putting on a blindfold for life – you have good days and bad.
Blindness is headaches because your brain is trying to see but your eyes do not work.”
Sounding emotional she continues: “Blindness is never being able to get away from black floaters or bright flashing lights.
“Blindness is the strength to carry on and do everything you want in life even though you live in darkness.” 

Source: Mirror ( U.K ) , 21st May 2015