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Northern Himalayan Town Forced to Relocate Due to Dam Construction

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:48:02 ( 983 reads )


TEHRI, INDIA, December 8, 2001: Despite protests from Indian scientists and environmentalists, the government has forged ahead on building a dam whose construction will result in the total submergence of the 200-year-old northern Himalayan town of Tehri by November of 2002. Scientists are concerned that the dam is too close to the "edge of the central Himalayan seismic gap, around 45 kms. from the epicenter of a 1991 earthquake." Over 10,000 townspeople will be forced to relocate. As part of the construction process, two water tunnels controlling the flow of the Bhagirathi river were closed recently, the river flow reversed, and the alteration created a reservoir that has submerged part of the town, including some ancient temples. The local people feel intimidated by this recent development and insecure that the bridge linking the old part of the town with the new part may become submerged. However, authorities such as the district magistrate, Radha Ratudi told the BBC, "that her administration was working to ensure normal food supplies and transport services," for the townspeople during their transition.

Bengal To Ban Smoking In Public Places

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:47:02 ( 1010 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, December 12, 2001: The West Bengal government today passed a bill prohibiting smoking, spitting or consumption of tobacco in public places. The bill, which now awaits the president's approval, will prohibit smoking and spitting in public auditoriums, hospitals, health institutions, amusement centers, public offices, court buildings, educational institutions, libraries, places of worship, public conveyances and "such places notified by the state government." The bill recommends fines of US$22 to $109 and up to three months imprisonment. It will also prohibit the selling of tobacco and cigarettes to people below 18 years of age.

What to Do When You See Someone Spanking Their Child

Posted on 2001/12/17 8:46:02 ( 998 reads )


November, 2001: This article by Debra Stang gives some concrete suggestions about what to do if you see someone hitting their child. Debra encourages everyone to take a stand against the culturally accepted practice of spanking and advices, "Use your voice -- silence is consent." Eleven suggestions are given including direct confrontation (works most effectively if you know the hitter), asking the manager of a business establishment to speak to the offender, maintaining eye contact at a safe distance from the hitter (makes them feel uncomfortable), stepping in to resolve the situation if you feel it has escalated (works if you know the parent) and many others. One can also call the police, though depending on the states, they may consider the issue, "just a spanking." Many states, however, limit the definition of "spanking" to hitting on the buttocks, and consider it a crime to slap a child on the head or in the face, or twist their ear -- which can easily cause deafness.

Changing Views on Female Infanticide

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:49:02 ( 1189 reads )


TAMIL NADU, INDIA, December 11, 2001: Officials in the Salem district of India's Tamil Nadu state say there is a new awareness among the villagers against the notorious practice of female infanticide after two village couples handed over their newborn baby girls, in front a huge crowd, to Salem's District Collector. With so many baby girls killed in the poorer districts the state government has offered to adopt abandoned babies as an incentive against killing them. However, non-governmental organizations (NGO's) working in the poor districts say many baby girls are still being killed there soon after birth. This is despite the efforts of the government and social organizations to educate the people against this practice. They say the birth of a daughter is unwelcome to a poor family as they cannot afford the traditional dowry and other marriage expenses which follow when the girl grows up. A Tamil Nadu Government launched initiative, called the Cradle scheme, was revived after the new government, headed by Ms. Jayalalitha took over in May. If a mother does not want a baby, she can leave the child in a cradle kept outside the Social Welfare Department and the government will then help raise the child.

Do Single-Faith Schools Promote Racism in UK?

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:48:02 ( 1044 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, December 13, 2001: Liberal Democrat David Ward education spokesman in Bradford, one of the towns affected by racial riots earlier this year, has said he would support the abolition of single faith schools. "I believe that prejudice is created when people are kept apart," he said. The idea of having a quota system for minority pupils proposed in one of the official reports on the summer's disturbances was impractical because it would involve "massive bussing" of children across Bradford. He said most Muslim parents did not want separate schools for their children and that those who advocated them tended towards extremism. Director of the London School of Islamics educational trust, Iftikhar Ahmad, argues that "the silent majority" of Muslim parents do want separate schools because multi-culturalism has failed their children. There is one Hindu school in UK.

Hindu Council of Seychelles Forges Ahead to Promote Culture

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:47:02 ( 1310 reads )


REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES, November 27, 2001: Hindus in Seychelles, a republic consisting of 115 islands located in the southwest of the Indian Ocean, are actively promoting their culture and contributing to the community at large. From coordinating a huge Diwali celebration to stocking a library with Hindu literature, plus affiliating itself with a Council in Africa and building a public crematorium, the Hindu Council of Seychelles is forging ahead. The Diwali festival itself ran for ten days in November and culminated with a grand fireworks display on November 24. Through negotiations with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, the Hindu Council is acquiring land to build a gas or electric crematorium for use by any community.

Soccer Fans Enjoy Diwali Fireworks

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:46:02 ( 1023 reads )


REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES, November 27, 2001: The festival of Diwali was celebrated by Hindus on November 24 with fireworks, prize presentations to children recognized for their knowledge of the Hindu religion, and historical religious plays. Soccer fans from the nearby stadium were luckily able to participate in the fireworks display as they were homeward bound, adding sparkle to their victory celebration.

URL Correction on Ultrasound Story

Posted on 2001/12/13 8:45:02 ( 1158 reads )


The above "source" will take readers to the BBC report on the impact of ultrasound on fetuses.

Website Details Attacks on Bangladeshi Hindus

Posted on 2001/12/12 8:49:02 ( 976 reads )


DHAKA, BANGLADESH, December 11, 2001: This website publishes a series of reports listing instances of attacks against Hindus in Bangladesh. For example, it reports that on September 20, at the Rajbari Uttar Sahapara village of Pangsha subdistrict of Rajbari District, a group of armed men entered into two Hindu worship halls and demolished the deities there. In many cases, it is stated that the local police did not respond to calls for help, or refused to investigate or arrest the perpetrators.

Jammu Temple Management Demands Changes

Posted on 2001/12/12 8:48:02 ( 1043 reads )

Source: Kashmir Times

JAMMU, INDIA, December 8, 2001: An emergency meeting of Bua Datti Temple committee was held at the temple complex after the conclusion of the annual festival. According to a report from the meeting, surprise was expressed at the behavior of government administrative personnel deployed at the gate of secretariat who unnecessarily harassed the management and devotees entering the temple complex. Sat Pal Saini, president of the management committee of Bua Datti temple, complained to the general council about the negative attitudes of the Jammu and Kashmir government towards the problem faced by the temple committee in performing their day-to-day functions. The temple management committee demanded a separate entrance to the temple and the removal of toilets on the roof of the temple. They also requested the temple canteen be handed over to them and that the preparation of meat in the canteen stop immediately. Sat Pal Saini also informed the devotees that land belonging to the temple is being illegally occupied by the government.

Ultrasound Scans May Cause Brain Changes

Posted on 2001/12/12 8:47:02 ( 1057 reads )


SWEDEN, December 9, 2001: Scientists in Sweden have found evidence ultrasound scans may cause brain damage in unborn babies after they found men whose mothers had tests were more likely to be left-handed. They have concluded some male babies' central nervous systems might have been affected by the process, and the increase in left-handedness indicated some kind of compensation for this damage. The study suggested scanning produced an extra 3 left-handed babies per 100 births. The biggest difference was found among those born after 1975 when doctors introduced a second scan later in pregnancy. Such men were 32% more likely to be left-handed than those in the control group. Apart from the increase in left-handedness, the research found no evidence of other changes in the babies' physiology. Prof. Juni Palmgren, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, told the Sunday Telegraph: "I would urge people not to refuse ultrasound scanning as the risk of brain damage is only a possibility, but this is an interesting finding and needs to be taken seriously." The implications of the study are important to India where ultrasound is regularly used to determine the sex of the unborn child.

The Plight of the Working Child in India

Posted on 2001/12/11 8:49:02 ( 1022 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 16, 2001: In this article Sue Lloyd-Roberts reveals a stark reality about the working children in India. Domestic girl workers in Bangalore, age 12-14 years of age, rise at 3:00 am to haul water home to their families and by 9:00 am have started a six-hour shift at another job. Child rag pickers, 12-15 years of age sort rubbish into piles of salvageable paper, plastic and metal, which sells for a few rupees. In an attempt to make their plight understood by others, girls in Bangalore have formed a collective called Hasiru Sangha. Together they try to better their life by complaining about the water supply to the local water board and encouraging other slum children to attend government schools. Boys have also joined together to discuss issues of health care and police harassment. They produce a monthly newsletter on their situation.

Book on Indian Migration in the Pipeline

Posted on 2001/12/11 8:48:02 ( 1059 reads )


SINGAPORE, December 8, 2001: Work is underway on a book that charts the history of migration from India, and the impact that Indians living overseas have on their host nations. The brainchild of Singaporean Indians, the book will chart the social, economic and cultural impact of overseas Indians. International experts on the Indian diaspora have spent the past two days in Singapore discussing the best ways of collating and presenting this information. Several Indian Singaporean businessmen were inspired by The Encyclopedia of the Chinese Overseas, which was published here in 1998, and which describes past and present Chinese communities around the world. The South Asian studies program of the National University of Singapore organized the workshops, which started on Thursday. They were supported by the Singapore chapter of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin. Program coordinator Peter Reeves says it will take at least three years to collect all the research and information the team needs from contributors around the world. He expects the book to take five years to produce. For more information, e-mail lordsiva@cyberway.com.sg.

Temple Reclassification in Andhra Pradesh

Posted on 2001/12/11 8:47:02 ( 1515 reads )

Source: The Hindu

HYDERABAD, INDIA, December 5, 2001: After meeting with Mr. Ajeya Kallam, Endowments Commissioner working for the government in the state of Andhra Pradesh, priest leaders have been assured that temple wage schedules in the state are going to be revamped to account for inflation. They have also been assured that by January 15 an Archaka (Priest) Welfare Fund will be activated, retirement age will remain at 65 years, instead of being lowered. A pension plan is promised. Taking into consideration these benefits plus others listed in this article, the priest delegation has decided to wait for the government to fulfill its promises before mounting further protests.

Study of British Racial Riots Released

Posted on 2001/12/11 8:46:02 ( 1052 reads )


LONDON, U. K. December 11, 2001: Twenty-first century Britain is composed "shockingly divided communities," Tony Blair's government has said. The Cantle report, commissioned by the Home Office, warned there would be no quick fixes. It makes 67 recommendations covering areas such as housing, political leadership, education, youth and leisure facilities and regeneration. It called for a change in the way regeneration schemes are managed, which force groups to "compete against each other" and lead to resentment. Home Secretary David Blunkett welcomed the reports and called for a debate on citizenship. The summer's disturbances were some of the worst seen in the UK, with the Bradford violence alone causing damage estimated at US$16 million, and injuring 300 police officers. In a startling indictment of "the growing disaffection of Pakistani Muslims and youths of Pakistani origin," the British government released a new plan to prevent a repeat of the riots in mainly Pakistani and Bangladeshi-populated north-west English towns. Sikh-dominant Southall and Gujarati-dominant Leicester are singled out for praise, "In Southall and Leicester in particular, it was clear to us there was a pride in their community... it was also notable that diversity was seen as a positive thing," the government said. The report praised these communities ability to fit in to society and peacefully resolve problems that occurred.

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