• 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • TBI Blogs: This Wheelchair Tennis Player Hopes to Win Gold for India in 2020 Paralympics

    International wheelchair tennis player, Prathima Rao has her eyes set on the 2020 Paralympics to take place in Tokyo. The only thing holding her back is an old wheelchair. Bangalore-based Prathima Rao was all of 3 years old when she lost the use of her right leg to polio. She was forced to use a caliper to move around, and continues to do so till date. This has not stopped her, however, from making a name for herself as an international wheelchair tennis player. Prathima's tryst with tennis can be traced back to the days of her divorce. Battling depression and struggling to cope with the changes in her personal life, she sought - and found - solace in tennis. Prathima, a mother of a 10-year-old, maintains a packed schedule. On weekdays, her day begins with a two-hour practice session that starts at 6 am and goes on till 8 am. From 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Prathima is busy with the front-office job that helps her support herself and her son. While most might be tempted to take things easy on the weekend, Prathima is seen sweating it out in intense, day-long practice sessions at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA). Her hard work paid off when she qualified for the Malaysian Open. This was also the time when KSLTA's chief trainer, Ramesh, recognised her immense potential and decided to train her for free. Prathima only realised the many ways in which her antiquated wheelchair held her back when she participated in the Malaysian and Bangkok Opens. Wheelchair tennis demands continuous sideway movements in order to cover the court. The heavier and slower the wheelchair, the greater energy and time lost by the player. In this sport, that could be the deciding factor between a winner and a loser. Prathima was using a wheelchair given to her by the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association. The old wheelchair hampered her performance and the Indian para-athlete faced a 0-6, 0-6 loss in her first singles match in both the tournaments. However, in the doubles event, she managed to reach the semis in Malaysia and the quarter finals in Bangkok. This in itself is an achievement, considering the drawbacks of using an old wheelchair. Wheelchair tennis gained popularity back in 1976, thanks to the efforts of American player, Brad Parks. Before Parks' intervention, most able-bodied individuals could not imagine the possibility of playing tennis on a wheelchair. Parks struggled, travelling from city to city, breaking stereotypes, questioning prejudice and paving the way for the countless differently abled who were waiting to hit the tennis court. Parks' efforts led to the induction of wheelchair tennis into the Paralympics and the Grand Slams. Wheelchair tennis has since been accepted and acclaimed in countries across the world and by international tennis bodies. In India, however, para-athletes struggle to gain recognition and funding for their basic equipment; a fact that became painfully clear to Prathima during her time in the Malaysia and Bangkok Opens. After observing international players, she found that to even be considered on equal footing as her competitors and to ensure a fair match, a new wheelchair was crucial. Although Prathima earns enough to give herself and her a son a good life, a new wheelchair of international standards is, economically, out of her reach. Countless attempts to raise money on her own failed, before she decided to place her faith in the people of the country. She started a crowdfunding campaign on Wishberry, and is painstakingly raising the funds required to buy her a new, state-of-the-art wheelchair that will her win gold for the country. A faster wheelchair will help her give her best in international tournaments and make India proud. It will also give her a winning chance to improve her world ranking, work her way into the top 100 and qualify to participate in Grand Slams as well as the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. A win in these competitions, she believes, will help her get one step closer to fulfilling her long-term objective of improving the support system for para-athletes in the country. During her time in Malaysia and Bangkok, she was left awe-inspired by the facilities available to international para-athletes. Many players travelled with an entire team of coaches and support staff. This crew not only monitored the player’s game, but also constantly captured and analysed an opponent's strengths and weaknesses. The most crucial thing which she learnt was the financial support a lot of these players received from their country’s sporting bodies; in order to encourage them to focus on tennis as a full time career, players are given a daily allowance for their personal expenses. This allows them to practice 5-6 hours everyday. Lack of sponsors is the biggest problem faced by an Indian para-athlete. Like any other sport, this sport can only attract sponsors if at least one player emerges as the national star, a star the entire nation looks up to as an achiever. Once the sport begins to attract money, it will also attract more players and give them a chance to be trained and groomed in high-end facilities. Prathima is optimistic about participating in the 2020 Paralympics, and strongly believes in the potential that India has to produce the world’s best wheelchair tennis players. You can contribute to Prathima’s crowdfunding campaign here. 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
  • Karnataka has no right to release Cauvery water when drinking water is scarce: JD(S)

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): Backing Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the issue of Cauvery water sharing with Tamil Nadu, Janata Dal (Secular) national secretary general Danish Ali on Sunday said when farmers and the common man are distressed and even drinking water is not available in Cauvery catchment areas, how can the Karnataka government release the river waters. "Areas along the Cauvery are reeling from a shortage of water, even drinking water is not available to people living in the Cauvery Basin.

    ANI
  • Australia edge out Sri Lanka in Dilshan ODI farewell

    Australia edged out Sri Lanka by two wickets to spoil Tillakaratne Dilshan's one-day farewell and go 2-1 up in the five-match series on Sunday. Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka were all out for 226 with four balls remaining, a total built around Dinesh Chandimal's gutsy 102 in an otherwise poor batting display by the hosts in the third match of the series. Dilshan's fluent 42 in his one-day swansong was the second highest score and the former Sri Lanka captain quit the format with 10,290 runs, including 22 centuries from 330 matches.

    Reuters
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • UML asks govt for rationale behind sending special envoys to India and China

    Kathmandu [Nepal], Aug. 28 (ANI): The opposition Communist Party of Nepal (UML) on Sunday questioned the logic behind the government decision to send two deputy prime ministers as special envoys of the Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to India and China. UML vice-vhairman and former Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal said at the Parliament meeting that there was no ground for the act as per the principles of United Nations and other diplomatic values including the panchasheel principles, reports the Himalayan Times.

    ANI
  • 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
  • Mulayam's kar sevak remark an attempt to polarise communities for political gain: BJP

    Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Aug.28 (ANI): Describiing Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's remark on kar sevaks as a "political stunt", the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said the statement must be viewed as a "political exercise" to polarise communities. On Saturday, Mulayam justified his decision to order the Uttar Pradesh Police to open fire on 16 kar sevaks in Ayodhya on October 30, 1990, which claimed the lives of 16.

    ANI
  • Mehbooba's statement out of line with reality, facts: NC

    Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Aug 27 (ANI): Denouncing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's assertion that only five percent of Kashmiris are behind the unrest, the National Conference (NC) on Saturday lashed out at the former saying she is misleading herself and "living in a make-believe world" even as the entire valley is steaming with security forces. NC leader Mustafa Kamal told ANI that Mehbooba's statement and her behaviour is out of line with the reality and facts, adding she is yet to open "her score" as far as development agenda of Prime Minister Modi is concerned.

    ANI
  • National herald case: Delhi Court issues notice to Sonia, Rahul on Swamy's application

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 27 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Saturday issued notices to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi and five others on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy's application seeking summoning of certain documents from Associated Journals Pvt.

    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
  • Mother Teresa's life was dedicated to work for poor: PM Modi

    New Delhi [India], Aug. 28 (ANI): Remembering the contributions of Albanian-born Roman Catholic nun and missionary Mother Teresa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said her life was dedicated to work for the poor and the socio-economically deprived. Addressing the nation in the 23rd edition of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, Prime Minister Modi said, "Mother Teresa's canonisation as saint is to happen on September 4. Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs Minister) will attend the ceremony.

    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