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Sunday, 23 June 2013

POLITICAL PARTIES FORCE ARMY TO GIVE PRIORITY TO RESCUE PEOPLE FROM THEIR STATE, UTTARAKHAND

By Pratik Khandagle

As a huge natural calamity has stricken Uttarakhand claiming lives of hundreds of people and leaving thousands stranded and missing. The question arises that is this loss natural or man made?

According to the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) report published in April this year, the Uttarakhand had no disaster management plan despite the region being highly disaster prone. The reason being fragile mountains,tectonic activity and frequent climatic changes in the region. 'The state authority was not functional' says the report .Because of this, the Central Government did not release any funds for Disaster Management of Uttarakhand. It shocking is that more than 600 people have lost there lives in between 2007-08 and 2011-12 in Natural calamities just because of negligence of Government.

Uttarakhand which is visited by thousands of pilgrims each year has now become a place
of chaos. Thousands of people living in relief camps and many missing, the issue of safety
has become a serious matter.

While the Indian Army is carrying the rescue operation, there are reports that the politicians are forcing the army personnel to rescue people of their state first and then the rest.The political parties are using this situation to prove that they are the best just keeping in mind the general elections of 2014. Our Netas are not concerned about the people who are in grief and shock. Instead, they are busy planning strategies to bank on this issue for managing their vote-banks.

It is high time that the people along with the army take matters in their own hands leaving the selfish Netas behind and start the rescue and without their interference. The so called people's representatives should understand that aerial surveys,visits and false promises are not going to do any good. If they really want to help the people, they should start working as a whole by burying their differences and blame games.There should also be a proper co-ordination between the Center and the State. The catastrophe in Uttarakhand appears very tragic and its high time for the Netas to open their eyes and start working for betterment of the situation.

Friday, 21 June 2013

LOVE, SEX AND MARRIAGE!


By Pratik Khandagle

The recent Madras High Court ruling that an unmarried couple of the right age indulging in “sexual gratification” could be termed as husband and wife is a shock.
This decision of the Madras High Court has shaken the concept of marriage. Marriage is a concept based on law and understanding and not on any public or personal opinion. So according to this decision any male of the age 21 years and above and any female of the age 18 years and above indulging in consensual sexual practice will automatically become husband and wife.Is this acceptable? This decision goes against the ethics and established traditions of our society.
In our country where marriage is considered to be union between two families this decision has certainly cornered this belief and has made it a mere joke. But if we look at the other side of this  decision,
the Madras High Court will surely in some way protect women from being forcibly persuaded into sexual practices on the false promise of marriage by some sick men.
On the other hand, this decision can prove to be a saviour of women who are in a live in relationship and the ones who are being exploited sexually. Also the orthodox nature of the Indian society can be curbed. So do you think this decision of the Madras high court is right or is it just an outrageous one???






Thursday, 20 June 2013

MODERN DAY SLAVERY IN DUBAI

By Vaibhav Bhosle

Every year thousands of poor and needy people from the Indian subcontinent land in Gulf countries for small time jobs such as 'hard hat worker'. They are promised decent accommodations, satisfactory supplies of food and water with other basic amenities. But, as soon they land in the city of lights, the land unveils its ugly side.

The story starts from neglected and unnoticed rural areas of developing countries like India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. A hiring agent approaches the locals to makes an offer they can't refuse. He promises them sufficient amount of wages so that they could save ample sum and send to support their wretched kins back home.

Initially, they have to pay an up-front fee to the hiring agent which they can easily pay-off within few months of service. The poor villager burdens himself with a loan or even sells his family land to pay the fees for arrangement of visa and other official documents. Within few days, after the hefty payment, they land in some Gulf country.

The poor villagers arrive with an array of hope for even tiny bit of escalation in their financial conditions. But, as soon as they arrive, their passports are confiscated by the company (it is illegal to seize passport of an employee by the organization). They are informed about their work hours, which is about 12 to 14 hours a day and six days a week. Assured about comfortable living conditions, about 8-10 workers are forced to live in a tiny room in utmost squalid atmosphere. Dingy washrooms with almost negligible water supply. The drinking water offered is not properly desalinated which causes health problems to the workers. The labors build fire in the backyard as there are no cooking facilities provided by the company.

 

The labor camp is a shanty town like area, few miles away from the cloud hugging structures of Dubai. The area is kept in complete darkness with not even street lights. Millions of tourists visiting every year are oblivious of such modern day slavery.

We all have heard about the scorching heat in Gulf countries. In day time, the temperature even reaches 50 degrees celsius. According to the law, the workers should not work above this temperature. But, the workers never go off work and continue working on the sites without sufficient water and food. If a worker stops his work for sometime due to ill health, his wages are cut.

There is absolutely no escape from this slavery. It is similar to bonded labour. Unless the upfront fee paid off to the company, there is no getaway from this bonded labourship. Even if the workers are handed their passports back, they don't have money to go back home. Hence, they are caught and continue to serve the company.

Trade unions and labor strikes are illegal in Dubai. So, even if a worker decides to revolt against the construction company, he'll be jailed.

Behind all the glitzy structures, the hidden face never comes into light. In 2005, Indian consulate even submitted a report to the Indian Government detailing labor problems such as delayed payments, long working hours and premature termination of services. Despite, Human Rights watch the construction companies still continue to confiscate passports and do not pay the salaries promised to them. The Government still argues that no injustice is done to the labors.  

This grave situation can be appropriately entitled as ' Modern Day Slavery'.


Also read:
Love, sex and Marriage in Madras!

Monday, 10 June 2013

KYUNKI, IT'S JUST A SERIAL!

By Vaibhav Bhosle

Don’t be surprised, if one fine day you return home late at night and your wife looks at you with suspicion. She might also check if there’s any lipstick mark on your shirt. Thanks to the side effects of the daily soaps which have become a part of your life, directly or indirectly.

The television world might seem confined to the size of your T.V screen. But, you cannot deny the impact it is making on the households throughout the country. Even the long lost film actors regained their fan following via television reality shows (also recuperating their broken fortune).

Almost every television saga starts with social issues in the society. Before the launch of the series, they promote the show very tactfully by showing the protagonist striking back against eve-teasers or the leading lady dreaming to become an IPS officer. However, she eventually gets married to the eve-teaser and the aspiring IPS officer is shown rolling Rotis for her better-half. She is shown shedding tears most of the time because that is how the way it is supposed to be. The more she weeps, more the TRP’s. Daily soaps have also been the biggest promoters of plastic surgery (height, weight, voice, etc also changes with the plastic surgery).

Whatever s**t they possibly display, the Indian audiences devotedly watch the show and love it to the core. They not only love it, but also look at the protagonist as their idols. The audiences for the daily soaps are not only homemakers but surprisingly there has been rise even in the male audiences.

The characters shown in the serial are usual and day to day life type. So, it’s quite natural for the audiences to relate themselves with them. As the audiences start associating with the characters they start influencing in that way. I was startled to know that my friend’s petite sister was upset with him because he did not care for her the way some television character did for his sister.  I have even heard of incidences where housewives refuse to go in kitchen during their favorite daily soap.

The purpose of television is for entertainment and education. But, it’s not worthy to get social messages from the TV serial. It won’t be appropriate to blame the serial as they are TRP (Television Rating Point) driven and they telecast what the audiences demand. It’s not even an awful practice to watch daily soaps but the audiences must realize that the ‘Adarsh Beta’ or ‘Adarsh Bahu’ (Ideal Son or Ideal daughter-in-law) are entirely fictitious and they might not be behaving a bit that way in their personal life. Entertainment should be the prime purpose for watching Daily Soaps and not the right source to instigate our behavior from it.





Sunday, 9 June 2013

OBESITY IN THE LAND OF UNDERNOURISHED

By Vaibhav Bhosle

India has always been looked upon as hunger stricken, poverty affected and undernourished country. But, according to statistics, 5% of Indians are suffering from morbid obesity. Indian male ranks 14th in the world, while women are 16th in the list of obesity.

Obesity is fundamentally a lifestyle disease generally found in developed countries. But, nowadays in India, increased accessibility to fast foods in the urban areas is the major cause behind rise in average weight of an Indian. There has also been significant rise in International franchises supplying unhealthy fast food.

Lack of physical activity amongst the urban people can also be sighted as a significant cause for obesity. While, the villagers in India had an additional advantage of physical activity, but with technology being penetrated into the rural areas activities like watching television have soared significantly. As Indians are genetically designed for storage of excess of fat around the waist, obesity may prove extremely fatal in the near future.

Fast food like Burgers, Pizzas as compared to health food is quite cheaper than healthy foods like salad. So, the market for fast food is growing at a rapid rate. Cheap rate of the commodity will lead to increase in demand in the market. The first step can be to reduce the demand in the market. Secondly, the government should run health awareness campaigns in the cities.

Obesity is a physical state of an individual in which he is more prone to heart diseases, diabetes and cancer and also risk of infertility may prevail among women. India, being more of an undernourished country, but with fast paced lifestyle in the urban part and increase in urbanization itself, in no time obesity may become a major cause for fatality.

DECRIMINALIZATION OF SUICIDE


By Vaibhav Bhosle

There’s nothing new with the Bollywood starlets succumbing to pressures in the glamour world. The pressure might be professional or personal but eventually it leads to an emotional outburst and the consequences can be as grave as losing one’s life. Even reasons such as unpaid loans or family tensions and mounting social pressures related to education are also the top culprits of self-slaughter.

But, in this blog I don’t want to stress on what makes people pull the trigger towards oneself but what if it’s a failed attempt towards suicide. One could land up behind the bars for one year or fined or both.   (Next time you think of committing suicide, let your plan be foolproof). 
           
            ‘Mental Healthcare Bill 2012’ states that a thorough investigation is supposed to be done whether the person attempting suicide suffers from any mental disorders. The person with no mental disorder will be  The Bill having being gained mixed views because it clearly defies the ‘Right to Live’ (section 309 Article 21 IPC). One cannot include the ‘Right to Die’ in the section. As the person who has committed suicide is beyond the reach of the law he cannot be prosecuted but, the person with failed suicide attempt needs to be treated and not prosecuted.
               
            A person with a failed suicide attempt needs more of a mental support rather than punishment or penalization. Imagine, a person attempting to end his life due to financial reasons made to pay fine. Doesn’t it sound too foolish?
                
           The suicide rate in India is increasing with a fast pace and is well above the world rate. It is the second leading cause for death in the country.  The Government needs to set up counseling sessions for the youths with regards to prevention of such acts. And even if a person attempts self-murder, he needs to be treated rather than prosecuted (increasing more number of court cases).
                
           Suicide being criminalized is archaic and exists only in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and Malaysia. The government needs to look into this matter acutely and needs to humanize and decriminalize suicide.

Vaibhav Bhosle