"We’ll drag Naidu to UN rights panel: Dalits
Girl stuck in tubewell dead
Dalit girl raped
Tribals given a raw deal
Terrorism, BJP’s new mantra for UP elections
APVKS to lay siege to godowns
Nandikotkur farmers flee fearing arrests
`Include omitted ST villagers in voter list'
50 per cent of kids suffer from malnutrition
VHP claims it has PM’s assurance on Ayodhya
BSP MLAs consider mass resignations in UP
'Women workers need more income, social security'

"We’ll drag Naidu to UN rights panel: Dalits

Hyderabad, Oct. 9: Andhra Pradesh Dalit Mahasabha has warned that it would file a case against Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in the United Nations Human Rights Commission Bench, Geneva if he failed to initiate hearings on the Tsundur massacre within one month.

Announcing this at a press conference, Mahasabha founder-general secretary Katti Padma Rao recalled that nine Dalits were killed by upper castes on August 6, 1991 at Tsundur and the State had constituted a special court at the same place for hearing. However, the TD has not started hearing on the case in the special court, he said.

Padma Rao said if the government failed to initiate hearing within one month, the Mahasabha would file a case before UN Human Rights Commission general secretary Mary Robinson.

He also lashed out at the Chief Minister for diverting crores of rupees from the Budget meant for SC, ST education and welfare to the Janma Bhoomi programme and for other purposes of the ruling party.

Instead of initiating developmental programmes for the SCs, STs and minorities, the Chief Minister was doing more harm to these classes by funds meant for them, he said.

Rao said President K R Narayanan had also sought an explanation from the State government in this regard. An audit team from the Central government had also established the misuse of money meant for Dalits, he alleged.

Girl stuck in tubewell dead

Rayadurg (Anantapur), Oct. 9: After hours of frantic rescue operations, body of the two-year-old girl child Shilpa was retrieved from the nine-inch wide tubewell into which the kid fell on Monday night.

All out efforts were made to rescue the infant by digging a parallel gorge alongside the tubewell. A huge quantity of soil had fallen into the tubewell while the digging was going on with the help of an earthmoving machine. She was virtually buried alive, as a huge layer of soil appears to have suffocated the girl to death.

At least three cylinders of oxygen were sent into the tubewell to keep the child alive who was at the bottom of 20 feet deep gorge. The girl had slipped into the open tubewell situated in the field of village administrative officer Thimma Reddy on Monday night.

A labourer, working nearby, had managed to hold the girl for a while on the fateful night. But the girl slipped away from his grip due to the incessant rain. She was the only daughter of a Dalit couple Govindu and Yellakka.

Dalit girl raped


KANPUR: In a case against atrocity against women, two youths of of Karampur village held captive a teenaged girl for five hours and raped her. The victim approached Bhawash Kumar Singh when a local police station refused to register her case. In a complaint registered with the SSP, the father of the victim said that Harish took away his daughter to his house and raped her. The SSP had ordered an inquiry into this case.

In another case, the Colonelganj police detained a hard core criminal Naviullha and recovered one country-made pistol and two live cartridges from him. Later, during the interrogations, the criminal admitted to the murder of Mehboob Ali last month. The police sent him on 10 days remand.

A 26-year-old woman Laxmi Devi committed suicide by hanging herself with rope in her house on Monday morning under Vidhnu police station. The local police was yet to ascertain the cause behind her death. In another incident under Panki police station, one Panki power house employee lodged an FIR against the irresponsible attitude of some Panki officials.

In the first incident, 26-year-old Laxmi Devi, a resident of Ramipur locality under Vidhnu police station, was married to Ramesh about three years ago. Shw committed suicide by hanging in her in-laws' house. The police was carrying out interrogations of suspects. The cause behind the suicide could not yet be ascertained.

In the other case, O P Verma, an employee of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation and resident of 11/9 Panki Power House, lodged an FIR three employees of the Corporation. According to the report Dayaram, Ratish Srivastava and R K Dixit had deliberately downed a 220 KV feeder in which Verma was working. However, Verma managed to escape uninjured. The police was investigating the case.

In another case registered with the cantonment police station, the principal of BND Degree College Narendra Kumar lodged an FIR against a applicant of the Group-G exam Atul Kumar, a resident of 2a/64 Azad Nagar, who was found guilty of copying during the examination on Sunday.

Tribals given a raw deal

Hyderabad, Oct. 9: While some may sing praises about the efficacy of Chief Minister N Chandrababu’s “e-mantra” regime, nearly 35 lakh tribals across the State continue to live in poverty, illiteracy and sub-human conditions in the new millennium. If only Naidu would solve their problems with the click of a mouse and that is a big “if”.

Potable water and electricity, a necessity for most of us are luxuries for the tribals, who constitute 6.3 per cent of the population. But this is trivial when compared to the agony they undergo to fill their stomachs. Tribals, particularly the Lambadas, are even forced to sell of their children to get meal. The Tribal Welfare Department gets just half of the funds the State spends on its publicity campaign.

To put it bluntly, the department gets a measly one per cent of the State’s budget of Rs 31,500 crore which means no statutory benefits.

B Mungilal Naik, founder-president of Nangara Bheri, an umbrella organisation for the protection of Lambada rights, accused the government of diverting a major portion of Rs 100 crore Central funds for tribal welfare to non-tribal activities like Janmabhoomi and Neeru-Meeru.

Tribal children, who were encouraged to attend schools on the assurance that they would get free meals, clothes and other household items, are now dropping out from schools in nine Integrated Tribal Development Agency areas.

Reason: they didn’t receive trunk boxes, glasses, hair oil and combs for the past five years. Clothes, school uniforms and other items stopped coming three years ago.

As many as 9,000 tribal students, a majority of them in Hyderabad and Rangareddy, did not receive their post-matric scholarships, as the government allegedly diverted the Central funds for non-tribal activities. The number of applicants for scholarships went up from 29,000 during 1996-97 to 50,450 now.

Jamuna, who is an activist for Gramya (a NGO), working in Chandampet mandal of Nalgonda district, says the condition in tribal habitations is simply sub-human. “There’s no clear-cut government policy on income generation among tribals,” Jamuna said.

The Tribal Students and Youths Committee advisor G Hanumanthu said the tribal welfare schemes were just on paper. Several hostels for tribal students are without electricity, water and even furniture.

He named a few of them located at Lakdikapul, Red Hills and Langar Houz in the city and those in Khammam, Vizag, Adilabad, Prakasam, Kurnool, Chittoor and Nizamabad and East Godavari.

Secretary (Tribal Welfare) C R Biswal was quite candid in admitting problems which crippled welfare schemes. Like the CM, Biswal too pins his hopes on the World Bank to help out tribals.

“We have taken up several schemes with State, Central and international funds. But once we get the World Bank aid, we will be able to take up schemes worth Rs 1600 crore,” he said.

Terrorism, BJP’s new mantra for UP elections

New Delhi, Oct 9: The United States call to combat global terrorism appears to have become the mantra for the Bharatiya Janata Party to consolidate its wavering Hindu vote bank.

Senior BJP functionaries claimed that the “terrorism” would be “the issue”, on which the BJP would contest the forthcoming polls and “take on its rivals.” Terrorism is going to be the main issue to be raised and discussed in the “Mahadhiveshan” of the BJP’s youth wing to be held in Agra on October 13.

Both Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister L K Advani, who would attend the youth rally are expected to speak on issues of terrorism and exhort countrymen to fight the menace. The proposed rally will be the kick off to the forthcoming UP polls.

Terrorism would be the main focus during the BJP’s national council on October 21 and three-day national executive begining in Amritsar from Novemeber 2. BJP chief K Jana Krishnamurthy said that the three-day national executive would adopt a resolution on terrorism and the party’s call to the nation to counter the menace.

Even though the BJP is trying to keep the issue of terrorism seperate from religion, RSS spokesperson M G Vaidya went on record saying that “all Muslims are not jehadis, but all jehadis are Muslims.”

A BJP functionary involved in the UP politics observed that banning of Students Islamic Movement of India “could also politically work in BJP’s favour during the forthcoming polls.”

Realising that the Muslim vote bank was “out of bounds” for the BJP, the saffron strategists have decided to work to consolidate the Hindu vote bank. The BJP functionary remarked: “Despite our reservation policy for the most backwards, the BJP would not have been able to consolidate the Hindu vote bank .” However, the call to combat terrorism would certainly “unite the Hindus in our favour.”

The BJP strategists feel that the Sangh Parivar’s original Hindutva ideology would play a major role with regard to terrorism issue.

APVKS to lay siege to godowns

Vijayawada, Oct. 9: The Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Karmika Sangham has appealed the farm labourers to picket the Food Corporation of India godowns on October 16.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Sangham’s newly-elected president Jelli Wilson said the Sangham had decided to hold dharnas and protest rallies and lay siege to all the FCI godowns on October 16 demanding the distribution of food grains to the farm labourers in all the drought-hit areas to mark the United Nations Food Security Day.

Lakhs of tonnes of food grains were preserved in the FCI godowns across the country which were getting rotten, while lakhs of farm labourers were starving. He asked the government to relax the FCI norms and distribute the food grains to the labourers.

Criticising the State government for failing to take proper drought relief works, Wilson said the government had no action plan to anticipate the drought conditions. He demanded the government to initiate steps to provide food for the poor.

He said the State government had distributed only one lakh tonnes of rice so far out of the three lakh tonne released by the Central government and the Food-for-Work programme had utterly failed in assisting the farm labourers. Wilson demanded the State government to constitute all-party committees at all the levels to draw action plans and monitor the drought relief works in the State.

Nandikotkur farmers flee fearing arrests

Nandikotkur (Kurnool), Oct. 9: The panick-stricken farmers in Nandikotkur constituency limits are fleeing their villages for fear of arrests. Reason—those who turned defaulters after securing crop loans from various banks, are being arrested and shifted to the Rajahmundry jail.

Notwithstanding Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s directive to the bankers against harassment of farmers of the drought-hit areas for loan recovery, bankers in Nandikotkur segment have intensified pressure tactics on the community for recovery of crop loans. And as part of their move, arrest warrants are being issued against the defaulters and the latter are being shifted to the Rajahmundry jail.

The move has triggered panic among villagers in the region prompting a large number of farmers to flee their villages leaving their home, property and even families behind.

The fears of the fleeing farmers are not unfounded as delayed reports reaching here said Dalit Devadas and Chinna Venkatswamy were arrested four days ago and shifted to Rajahmundry for failure to repay the crop loans they had acquired from the Rayalaseema Grameena Bank branches in Midutur and Parumanchala villages.

Madiga Sadgunam of Bannur village was however lucky since his arrest was prevented on Monday by a police official hailing from the same village who took up his cause. Sadgunam had secured a loan from the Jupadubangalow branch of the RGB but failed to re-pay the amount due to successive crop loss.

Villagers said this is not the first time that the bankers were resorting to such inhuman behaviour. Nageswar Rao, Alaraju and Ranga Reddy of the village were meted out similar treatment in the past. They were arrested and shifted to Rajahmundry jail for failure to clear their crop loans.

But unable to withstand the harassment in the jail, they opted for selling away all their property in the village to clear the loans after which they were released, the villagers recalled.

The farmers are sore over the ill-treatment being meted out to them by the bankers.

Some of them were willing to pay the amounts but were informed by the officials that their loans had been waived.

“It is quite unfair on the part of the bankers to issue court notices and arrest warrants against us now”, they argued. Significantly, all the defaulters targeted by the bankers are small or marginal farmers.

`Include omitted ST villagers in voter list'

By Our Staff Reporter

PONDICHERRY, OCT. 9. The Pondicherry Scheduled Tribe People's Federation has urged the Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer to ensure that the names of STs in remote villages in the Union Territory were included in the voter list.

The president, Mr. K. Ramkumar, said the enumerators were not collecting the particulars of the Scheduled Tribes living in the villages. The officials were insisting on submission of birth certificates or other documents. How could the illiterate people be expected to possess such documents, he asked.

50 per cent of kids suffer from malnutrition


About 50 per cent of children in the country suffer from chronic malnutrition and the same per cent of pregnant women are anaemic.This shocking data came to light at a state level workshop on “integrated education and training through assessment analysis and action (AAA) approach for reduction of malnutrition” held here yesterday.

“Malnutrition is so widespread in the country that even 50 years of planned developmental projects and schemes like health for all by 2000 could hardly help alleviate the menace,” the workshop noted. Giving statistics on child malnutrition and women anaemia, Meghalaya commissioner and secretary for social welfare S S Gupta informed that anaemia also affects 74 per cent of children below three years. The acute malnutrition resulted in 22 per cent of the children suffering from low birth weight that also led to 50 per cent of the infant mortality in India, he said adding that maternal anaemia was largely responsible for the infant mortality.

The alarming health scenario in the country prompted the government to take up programmes like National Nutrition Policy (NNP) in 1993 followed by the establishment of the national nutrition surveillance system mainly aimed at identifying nutritional problems.

Mr Gupta said besides the country had launched the ‘National Nutrition Mission’ for bringing down the high level of low birth weight in children, other objectives included reduction in infant mortality and ‘complete’ elimination of severe malnutrition by 2005- the present level being 16.2 per cent.

The target was to reduce the problem of anaemia by 2007. At present, 74.3 per cent children suffer from anaemia while 51.8 per cent of the mothers are afflicted by this condition, the workshop said.

VHP claims it has PM’s assurance on Ayodhya

NEW DELHI: In the run up to Uttar Pradesh elections, the Prime Minister appears to have promised all help to the BJP’s ‘Hindutva’ constituency. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad working president Ashok Singhal on Wednesday announced that the Prime Minister has assured VHP leaders that an Ayodhya cell will be set up within a fortnight.

The assurance, according to Parmahans Ramachandra Das, president of Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, was given to a VHP delegation which met the Prime Minister on Tuesday. “He assured us that the Ayodhya problem will be sorted out by March 12,” said Das.

The delegation, that included Singhal, had an hour-long meeting with the PM. Das said Vajpayee agreed to revive the ayodhya cell, set up first by former Prime Minister V P Singh.

“The cell would directly work under the PM to find a solution to the problem,” Singhal said. In the last Kumbh Mela in January, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had set a deadline of March 12 after which the VHP had threatened to begin the temple construction. VHP’s game plan appears to be to get the undisputed land released so that temple construction could begin immediately after the ‘‘dead line’’ which would coincide with UP assembly elections.

Meanwhile, strongly reacting to VHP’s claim, a key NDA ally the Samata Party asked the Prime Minister to make public the exact nature of assurance given to the VHP. The Samata spokesman also reminded the government that the Ram temple issue is not part of NDA’s agenda for governance.

Samata spokesman Shambu Shrivastava said, ‘‘Samata Party’s position is that this issue should be resolved through dialogue or through court settlement. Dialogue between the government and the VHP doesn’t constitute a dialogue, the Muslim community should be involved.’’

But the VHP seems to be in no mood to have talks with the Muslim groups.

BSP MLAs consider mass resignations in UP

NEW DELHI: After the Samajwadi Party MLAs it is now the BSP MLAs who are contemplating mass resignations from the Uttar Pradesh assembly on October 17.

The assembly completes its term on that date but will continue till March since it was constituted six months after the last assembly elections.

The BSP which has 50 legislators in the House after an initial split, is now recognised as the principal opposition after the SP MLAs quit last month. BSP vice-president and former chief minister Mayawati said that before October 17 her party would discuss the issue.

‘‘We will review our political strategy for UP before that date and take an appropriate decision,’’ she said. However, she refused to comment when asked whether her party would accept mass resignations of its MLAs

NCERT's new syllabus is its big secret


NEW DELHI: The National Council for Educational Research and Training seems to be treating the new syllabus like a state secret. It has been more than a year since the council started revamping the syllabus, yet little is known about the changes that have been made so far.

To add to the mystery, the council is keeping the names of the experts who have written the books under wraps. According to the NCERT plan, classes I, III, VI, IX and XI will have new textbooks from next year. Books for the rest of the classes will be made available in different phases in subsequent years.

While NCERT says it is still busy putting final touches to the document, officials refuse to give out a time-frame under which it will be released. "We are preparing a document and that will take its own time," NCERT director J S Rajput said.

Several academicians say the syllabus should be made public once it is formulated. Smarting under allegations that the school curriculum was being given a saffron hue, the council could be trying to delay the process of public scrutiny, NCERT sources said.

Unofficially, the NCERT is trying to buy time in the name of private publishers. "We don't want the private publishers to get their hands on the syllabus. Otherwise they will flood the market with notes and reference material," an NCERT official said.

The statement directly contradicts what the NCERT openly admits."NCERT books are prescribed in only three per cent of the schools, that too government-run," Rajput had earlier told The Times of India.

Most private schools prescribe books by private publishers.

Even the Central Board of Secondary Education, which is said to have been given a draft of the new syllabus, is keeping mum. According to CBSE sources, the director in a meeting had informed other members that though the board had received the syllabus, it was "confidential".

Former head of academic affairs Arjun Dev terms this "secrecy" unprecedented. "Once the council formulates the syllabus, it should become a public document," he said.Rajput claimed that this time the exercise had been wider, involving many more people.

Yet a number of schools denied they were involved in the exercise. "There have been no guidelines or information from NCERT. I do not know of any school which has been invited to take part in the syllabus revision process," said Springdales principal Jyoti Bose, who is also the vice-chairperson of the National Progressive Schools Conference.

The only document that the schools have been able to buy is the national curriculum framework released a year ago, she said.

State Council for Educational Research and Training director Janaki Rajan contradicts what NCERT has to say. "NCERT has conducted no institutional collaboration with state bodies. Individual faculty had been invited by name and their views passed off as the institutional view," Rajan said.Rajan alleged only individuals of a certain orientation were invited to these workshops.

"Even during the preparation of the curriculum draft, which was made public last year, we were not consulted. Textbooks which arrive are fait accompli," Rajan said.

BJP to hold Dalit Utthan rally in Basti

BASTI: The district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) organised a meeting to chalk out a strategy for making the Dalit, backward utthan rally to be held here on October 19 a great success. The meeting was attended by BJP leaders of Basti, Siddharthnagar and Sant Kabir Nagar districts.

Addressing the meeting, former MP Pankaj Chaudhary said that the UP government had done a commendable job by extending the reservation facility to the most backward castes (MBCs). "We are only trying to propagate the good work done by the Rajnath government," he said.

MP Sriram Chauhan, laying stress on more facilities to Dalits and backwards, advised party workers to motivate people to attend the proposed rally. Organisation secretary Harendra Singh and former MPs Pankaj Chaudhary and Ashtabhuja Shukla also expressed their views at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) organised a Dalit rally here recently which was attended by Brij Bhushan Tiwari, MP, Ram Karan Arya, former MLA, Taufiq Ahmad, Raja Ram Yadav and others.

Terming the social justice committee report as an election gimmick, the SP leaders said that the BJP government was trying to divide backwards and Dalits.

PULSE POLIO: A workshop on pulse polio was organised by the Rotary Club (Midtown) here recently.

Addressing the workshop, member of the club Ajay Pandey said that they would set up 45 booths here on October 14 to administer pulse polio drops to children. Ranjana Tiwari, principal, Mahila Degree College, assured full help to the club in this nobel job. Daya Ram Chaudhary, zila panchayat president and Jagdambika Pal, MLA, also extended full support to the polio eradication programme.

Later, Rotary president Akhilesh Dubey exhorted the club members to make the programme a success. Rotarians Anupam Srivastava, Jagdish Sawlan, Tanvir Alam, Satish Singhal, Ishwar Sahai and Ramesh Chandra Srivastava also attended the workshop

'Women workers need more income, social security'

Pioneer News Service/New Delhi

Women workers need more income and social security, says the Study Group on Women Workers and Child Labour. The group, submitting its report to the National Labour Commission, recommended investing in "expanding the skill base" of women workers and giving them representation under the Trade Union Act.

"Make employment the centre of all policies, particularly in the context of globalisation and its impact on the Indian economy. Employment must take into account both the qualitative as well as quantitative aspects with the recognition that fair employment is the link between poverty and growth," the report by the group says.

The study group has recommended redefining work to include women's work which often remains under the category "non-enumerated." The study group has called for investment in skill training and upgradation of women to new technologies.

The group feels that social security for workers in the unorganised sector should be the priority of the Commission. For women workers, child-care and maternity should be the priority. Child-care is the responsibility not of the mother alone but of the family - the father and the society as a whole, including the employers.

A fund of Rs 2,000 crore per year is required to provide child care. The Factories Act should be so amended so that all factories regardless of whether they employ women or not, should have creches.

The Study Group headed by Ms Renana Jhabvala of SEWA said that the import of Chinese silk yarn had forced women spinners out of jobs in Bihar.

The Union Cabinet extended the tenure of the second National Commission on Labour till February next year. The Commission set up six study group to have in-depth and focussed study on Review of Laws, Umbrella Legislation for Unorganised Sector, Globalisation and its Impact, Social Security, Women and Child Labour and Skill Development, Training and Workers' Education.

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Referred by: Sashi Kanth
Published on: August 28, 2001
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