• Kashmir unrest: BJP questions role of Jawaharlal Nehru after Congress targets PM Modi

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday questioned the role of the Congress Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru over the situation of Kashmir after Congress targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's for using words like 'insaniyat, Kashmiriyat, jamuriyat' in 'Mann ki baat'. Now if they want to politicise it and score political points by criticizing for the sake of criticizing then it begs the question that on political things, they are answerable that over 70 years, and in the 55 years that the Congress was in power, why did the problem ever be like this? What was the role of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, these political things can be answered," BJP leader Nalin Kohli told ANI.

    ANI
  • Daring Female Cops Rescue 3 Minor Girls after Being Chased by a 600-Strong Mob in Haryana

    Two women cops from Bengal bravely faced a 600-strong mob in Haryana to rescue a trafficked girl. By the end of the mission on Wednesday, they were successful in rescuing not one, but three minor girls, and also arrested nine traffickers. According to the police, the three girls were kidnapped and brought to Haryana to be married off. The fearless cops -- Sub-Inspector Piyali Ghosh and Constable Madhumita Das from Sankrail Police Station in Howrah, left for Haryana four days ago with two male constables. Image for representation only. Source: John Hill - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33519980 The team was following a tip-off obtained from a Howrah-based suspect named Mehfizza who told them that she had sold a 15-year-old girl in Palwal district of Haryana, with the objective of getting her married to 10 men. But in the process of raids and investigation, the cops had to face a mob of about 600 people, which chased them through open fields saying that they were trying to kidnap their women. People in the mob were screaming for "public justice" and the women cops had to urge their counterparts in Haryana police to fire shots in the air to save their lives. "I am happy that the job was done. We thank the constant help we received from anti-trafficking NGO, Shakti Vahini. We received little support from Haryana Police though Uttar Pradesh police always backed our raids...This was our first raid in Haryana and now we know we need to do our homework to be successful here," Piyali Ghosh told The Times of India. Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia).

    The Better India
  • How a 19-Year-Old Girl from Kanpur Is Inspiring Women in Her Village to Go after Open Defecators

    Palak Gaur, a 19-year-old resident of Kanpur has decided to improve the sanitation facilities in her village single-handedly. This is how she is doing it. There’s no challenge that Palak Gaur finds insurmountable today. After all, the 19-year-old has spearheaded the clean-up of her ‘malin basti’, small neighbourhood of 45 homes tucked away in a larger slum located on Baba Ghat, flanking the Ganges in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Last year in September, the youngster decided that she was no longer ‘okay’ with staying in a locality where rancid stench and heaps of rotting rubbish were such an intrinsic part of their everyday existence, that it didn’t even bother the residents anymore. So one day she started off by taking charge of clearing out a large garbage dumping area just outside her home. It took around six hours and more than 20 trips but she managed the job single-handedly. Despite her fervent appeals to the elders in the vicinity, no one came to her assistance that day other than her younger sister Neeraj, who eventually joined in after finishing her chores, and a neighbour whose boundary wall was adjacent to the dump. [caption id="attachment_65812" align="aligncenter" width="4288"] Palak Gaur, 19, has speared headed the clean up of her ‘malin basti’, small neighbourhood tucked away in a slum in Kanpur[/caption] “When I told a few people what I had in mind, they called me crazy,” says Palak recalling the incident, “I simply told them that while I may be mad I was not mad enough to be living in such unhygienic surroundings. I started working at 7 am and was done by lunchtime. With a wicker basket I took the garbage bit by bit to the dumpster 200 meters away. After I cleaned the place up I warned everyone against throwing garbage there again.” Palak is truly a committed young woman. Although her circumstances have not been the easiest, she has never shirked hard work. Her mother passed away when she was very young and ever since then her father, Mahaveer Gaur, a vegetable vendor, has been a single parent to her and her sisters. Naturally, making ends meet takes a lot of the time and energy, but Palak and Neeraj take out time from the housework and their studies to take extra classes for children in the area. “I am doing my masters in Hindi Literature and take tuitions as well. My father earns around Rs 3500 a month and my sister and I manage to make Rs 400 a month to help out,” she says. You may also like:  These Women Walk And Talk Non-Stop So They Can Improve Hygiene And Sanitation In Their Villages Despite a packed day, Palak has consciously taken up the cause of clealiness because “it is directly connected to our health and wellbeing”. [caption id="attachment_65813" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Palak with her family.[/caption] She was motivated to do this after she linked up with Shramik Bharti, a Kanpur-based a non-profit organisation, entirely by chance. “In May 2015 I happened to sit in on an awareness meeting organised in our ‘basti’. When I heard them out I realised that living in clean surroundings and ensuring proper sanitation is very important. I wanted to be part of their work and I attended another, more extensive, meeting at the organisation's office in June.” Shramik Bharti works on issues of poverty and women’s empowerment and has so far reached out to nearly a million people living within the slums and lower-income neighbourhoods, in and around Kanpur. Proper sanitation is critical to not just women’s health but also their safety, which is why the organisation has been focusing on motivating communities to take action. “We have been talking about concerns related to water, sanitation and hygiene with the support of WaterAid India, under the Central government’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM),” explains Rakesh Pandey, Chief Executive Officer, Shramik Bharti, adding, “Through interactive meetings we encourage people to take ownership of the cleanliness of their area. We have achieved remarkable results by developing leadership within the communities.” One meeting transformed Palak from a quiet teenager to a young woman who was eager to bring change, whatever the cost. [caption id="attachment_65809" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Palak with a member of the Shramik Bharti.[/caption] Even as she set the ball rolling by cleaning up the dumping ground outside her home – incidentally, her father was initially reluctant to allow his daughter to do this although eventually he was convinced that she was doing a “good work” – the youngster decided to rope in others to join in her mission. “I knew that changing the way we lived in ‘malin basti’ was not going to be possible for me alone,” she remarks. So she formed a ‘nigrani’ (vigilance) group of 25, comprising 10 youths (four girls and six boys in the 15 to 25 age group), 10 children (in the 8 to 14 years age group) and five adults (two men and three women) “for guidance and support”. The committee is diligently working towards “stopping people from defecating in the open, by shaming, threatening, or warning them, whatever works”. “We did try to convince people to use toilets, whether at home or a public facility, explaining to them how open defection pollutes the environment and the water. But when that didn’t work we decided to take some drastic measures. A bunch of us wake up at 4 am and hide behind trees in the locality .We even patrol a nearly four-kilometre stretch of the river bank where many slum dwellers go to relieve themselves. Those who were reluctant to mend their ways have been photographed and warned of a penalty slapped by government authorities, which has helped in curtailing this menace,” reveals Palak. As people no longer found it easy to go for ablutions in the open, they were suddenly keen to find out how they could build a toilet at home. [caption id="attachment_65810" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Palak with her vigilance group of 25[/caption] Palak jumped in to help them out by telling them about their entitlements under the government’s sanitation programme. Under the SBM, a sum of Rs 8,000 is sanctioned for poor families to construct a toilet. The grant comes in three installments; the final payment is released only after the beneficiary can prove that they have a working toilet. It took her around three months but she visited each of the 45 families to egg them on to apply for constructing a toilet. [caption id="attachment_65807" align="aligncenter" width="4288"] The river bank where Palak tries to stop open defecators.[/caption] “There were many who still slammed the door on my face. It was annoyed but I kept calm," says Palak, whose father had shown some great forward thinking by getting a toilet constructed for his daughters 12 years back. Her patience did pay off as she has managed to get all the families to fill out the relevant forms, which she handed over to Shramik Bharti to be passed on to the municipal authorities. Consequently, there are working toilets in several homes while others are in the process of getting one built. You may also like:  Whistling Can Be Used To Improve Sanitation? Yes! These Village Women Show You How. Her proactive approach has caught the attention of the district officials as well as the municipal corporation, with which she interacts regularly. In fact, local corporator Namita Kanojia has nominated Palak to be on the ward committee, too. Two significant positive outcomes of this have been the sanctioning of the construction of a half built sewage line as well as a 10-seat community toilet. The sewage line, in particular, is a coup. Palak put a proposal for the same before the MLA Salil Vishnoi on March 22, 2016, and later to the District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma on June 25. The project has been approved and construction is slated to begin after monsoon. Palak’s work doesn’t stop with her; her leadership has catalysed others to do their bit. For Divya, who studies in Class Two and is on the basti’s vigilance committee, Palak is a true heroine. “I understand that what she has asked us to do is beneficial for everyone and that’s why I follow her lead. We shoo those who want to defecate near the river bank. Nowadays no one defies us," she says proudly. Though she dreams of completing her B.Ed and take up teaching she will “pursue my mission to make people aware of the importance of hygiene and sanitation. I want to convert this ‘malin basti’ into a ‘model basti’, which is open defecation free.” Like this story? Or have something to share? Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter (@thebetterindia). Written by Alka Pande for Women’s Feature Service (WFS) and republished here in arrangement with WFS.

    The Better India
  • Women were banned as Islam prohibits them from visiting graveyards: Haji Ali Dargaah chairman

    Mumbai [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Haji Ali Dargaah chairman and managing trustee Abu Sultan Merchant on Sunday said as per Islam women are not allowed to go to graveyards and that is why a ban was imposed on the entry of women into the shrine's inner sanctum as it is the tomb of saint Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. The Haji Ali Dargah Trust had imposed the ban four years ago, saying it would be a "grievous sin" to allow women near the tomb. "Islam prohibits women to go to graveyards and this is also a grave then how can they go there?

    ANI
  • Pakistan killing our intellectuals and history: Baloch freedom activist

    New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) An "identity crisis" looms before the Baloch people as Pakistan is killing their intellectuals and strategically suppressing their history, says a Baloch freedom activist, adding that they will "not let Pakistan take our cultural identity from us". According to prominent Baloch freedom movement activist Mazdak Dilshad Baloch, the lullabies of Baloch mothers "are the only source of history lesson for the new generation" of their people. "As per Pakistani text books, Balochistan is a barbaric nation and Baloch people are barbarians who fight among themselves.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Robert Vadra takes on BJP MLA Ganesh Joshi over Shaktiman's death

    Dehradun [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra had a verbal spat with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ganesh Joshi at the Dehradun Aiport over the death of Police Horse Shaktiman, who died after suffering injuries at a rally where he was allegedly thrashed by Joshi himself. Speaking to ANI here, Vadra said that when he gave a piece of his mind to Joshi over the death of the animal, he was verbally abused by the BJP MLA.

    ANI
  • Rahul's ton in vain as Windies stop India by 1 run in first T20I

    Lauderhill (US), Aug 27 (IANS) Promising batsman Lokesh Rahul's 110 not out went in vain as West Indies managed to defeat India by one run in the nail-biting first T20 International at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground here on Saturday. With India needing 2 runs from the final ball, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo kept his nerves to dismiss Mahendra Singh Dhoni (43) with a slower one to take the Caribbean side home. Chasing a mammoth 246, Rahul struck the second fastest century in T20 Internationals to guide India to an almost improbable win before the last ball twist changed the fortunes of the men in blue.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Delhi Constable murder: All three culprits arrested

    New Delhi [India], Aug 27 (ANI): The Special Cell of the Delhi Police on Saturday arrested all the culprits in connection with the killing of a constable at Shahbad Dairy. The 49-year-old Delhi Police constable was shot at and hacked to death by three unidentified miscreants on August 19. Anand Singh, the constable, who was posted at the Bawana Industrial area, was shot dead in outer Delhi's Shahbad Dairy area at around 9 p.m. while trying to catch miscreants fleeing after snatching a bag from a woman.

    ANI
  • Turkey jails three former diplomats over coup bid

    Ankara, Aug 27 (IANS) Three former top Turkish diplomats were arrested on Saturday on charges related to the recent failed coup attempt.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Goyal in soup again, refers Sindhu, Sakshi Malik as Rio 'gold medallists'

    New Delhi [India], Aug 28 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel suffered yet another foot-in-mouth moment on Sunday when he referred silver and bronze medallists P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, respectively, as "Gold Medallist" despite the fact that he stayed at Rio with Indian players throughout the Olympics. "Today the Khel Ratna awardee, Dhyan Chand awardees, Dronacharya awardees, Tenzing Norgay National Adventure awardees met the Prime Minister. In that we also had two Rio 'gold medallists' P.V. Sindhu and Sakshi Malik," Goel told the media here.

    ANI
  • Former hockey players protest, demand Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): As many as 100 former hockey players and former hockey federation members staged a protest at Jantar Mantar on Sunday, demanding Bharat Ratna for legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand. The people erected a sand sculpture of Dhyan Chand at Jantar Mantar, demanding Bharat Ratna for him. "Tomorrow is National Sports Day, which is celebrated on Dhyan Chand's birthday.

    ANI
  • Sucha Singh Chhotepur demands CBI probe, says AAP can defame him if found guilty

    Chandigarh [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who was yesterday sacked from the post of party's Punjab convener following allegations of seeking bribe for allotting party tickets, on Saturday demanded for a CBI probe, insisting that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party could defame him if he is found guilty. Talking to ANI, Chhotepur said he was very much surprised by this decision of the party. AAP Member of Parliament Bhagwant Mann earlier in the day said that the alleged bribery case against Chhotepur will be probed by a committee constituted by the party.

    ANI
  • DCW Chief Swati Maliwal will be arrested soon, warns Kejriwal

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): Launching a fresh attack on Lt.Governor Najeeb Jung and the Centre, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday asserted that there are numerous decisions of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government which Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to reverse through the Lt.Governor such as the removal of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal. Taking to Twitter, the AAP national convener said Jung and the Prime Minister were in cahoots to take down the Delhi Government.

    ANI
  • Kashmir Valley will be completely unmanageable if something is not done, warns Khurshid

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): Former external affairs minister and Congress senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday warned both the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir government that if something concrete is not done to end more than 50 days of unrest in the Kashmir Valley, the situation will become "completely-completely" unmanageable. Talking to reporters after Saturday's meeting, Mufti said that the Prime Minister was "very concerned" about the situation and has asked for steps to bring normalcy in the valley.

    ANI
  • Mulayam Singh justifies shooting of 16 kar sevaks in Ayodhya

    Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India), Aug.27 (ANI): Justifying his firing order to the Uttar Pradesh Police that claimed the lives of 16 kar sevaks in Ayodhya on October 30, 1990, former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav on Saturday said had even 30 people been killed for the country's unity and integrity, it would not have bothered him. The firing on the sevaks took place when the Ram temple movement, spearheaded by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), was at its peak.

    ANI
  • Balochistan Assembly adopts resolution against PM Modi

    Quetta (Balochistan) [Pakistan], Aug.28 (ANI): The Balochistan Assembly has adopted an unanimous resolution in which it has criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for raising the issue of alleged human rights violations in the province during his recent Independence Day speech. Tabled by Pakistan Mulsim League-Nawaz lawmaker Muhammad Khan Lehri and supported by all political parties, the resolution was signed by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and other legislators, reports the Dawn.

    ANI
  • Good news bookworms! 22nd Delhi Book Fair begins today

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): The 22nd edition of the Delhi Book Fair will begin on Saturday at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi and will conclude on September 4. The fair is being organised by the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) in association with the Federation of Indian Publishers. ITPO General Manager Jayanta Das told ANI that there will be story telling sessions, nukkad natak, magic shows and authors' corners.

    ANI
  • PM Modi meets Sindhu, Sakshi, Dipa and other athletes

    New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu and bronze medal winner Sakshi Malik at his residence here on Sunday.

    IANS India Private Limited
  • Women's group led by Trupti Desai to visit Haji Ali Dargah today

    Mumbai [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): A women's group led by Bhumata Brigade activist Trupti Desai will visit the Haji Ali Dargah here today. In a valuable judgment, the Bombay High Court had on Friday lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the dargah. The Haji Ali Dargah Trust imposed the ban in 2012 citing religious traditions.

    ANI
  • We should protect and preserve our unity, integrity: PM on GST

    New Delhi [India], Aug.28 (ANI): Asserting that India must strive to protect and preserve its unity and integrity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday through the 23rd installment of his monthly special-Mann Ki Baat hailed the unanimous passage of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Amendment Bill. Unity in diversity is our strength and it is our bounden duty to ensure that all of us as citizens, as a society, as a government give strength to the voices which maintain our unity and integrity for a brighter tomorrow." The Prime Minister also highlighted the efforts made by the Centre and states to combat the floods.

    ANI
  • India's daughters have made us proud at Rio Olympics: PM Modi

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): Remembering the contributions of legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India's daughters too have made the nation proud at the just concluded summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Addressing the nation in the 23rd edition of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, Prime Minister Modi said, "Tomorrow is the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand.

    ANI
  • Pakistan facing huge question marks on its conduct: Khurshid

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): With Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday nominating 22 parliamentarians as special envoys to be despatched to world capitals to highlight the Kashmir issue, former external affairs minister and Congress senior leader Salman Khurshid on Sunday said Islamabad is facing huge question marks on its conduct as it does not have a cause or a case to project before the world.

    ANI